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Title: British Regiments at the Front, The Story of Their Battle Honours
Author: Hodder, Reginald
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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The Daily Telegraph

WAR BOOKS

BRITISH REGIMENTS AT THE FRONT


Cloth

1/- net each

The Daily Telegraph

WAR BOOKS

Post free 1/3 each

    HOW THE WAR BEGAN
    By W. L. COURTNEY. LLD., and J. M. KENNEDY

    THE FLEETS AT WAR
    By ARCHIBALD HURD

    THE CAMPAIGN OF SEDAN
    By GEORGE HOOPER

    THE CAMPAIGN ROUND LIEGE
    By J. M. KENNEDY

    IN THE FIRING LINE
    By A. ST. JOHN ADCOCK

    GREAT BATTLES OF THE WORLD
    By STEPHEN CRANE
    Author of "The Red Badge of Courage."

    BRITISH REGIMENTS AT THE FRONT
    The story of their Battle Honour.

    THE RED CROSS IN WAR
    By Miss MARY FRANCES BILLINGTON

    FORTY YEARS AFTER
    The Story of the Franco-German War. By H. C. BAILEY.
    With an Introduction by W. L. COURTNEY. LL.D.

    A SCRAP OF PAPER
    The Inner History of German Diplomacy.
    By E. J. DILLON

    HOW THE NATIONS WAGED WAR
    A companion volume to "How the War Began," telling how the
        world faced.
    Armageddon and how the British Army answered the call to arms.
    By J. M. KENNEDY

    AIR-CRAFT IN WAR
    By S. ERIC BRUCE

    FAMOUS FIGHTS OF INDIAN NATIVE REGIMENTS
    THE TRIUMPHANT RETREAT TO PARIS
    THE RUSSIAN ADVANCE

    _OTHER VOLUMES IN PREPARATION_


PUBLISHED FOR THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

BY HODDER & STOUGHTON, WARWICK SQUARE,
LONDON, E.C.



BRITISH REGIMENTS AT THE FRONT

THE STORY OF THEIR BATTLE HONOURS


BY

REGINALD HODDER


HODDER AND STOUGHTON
LONDON NEW YORK TORONTO
MCMXIV



The Author wishes to express his indebtedness to MR. J. NORVILL for his
valuable assistance and suggestions.



CONTENTS


CHAPTER                                                          PAGE

  INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER--NICKNAMES OF THE REGIMENTS AND HOW THEY
  WERE WON                                                          9

    I. 5TH DRAGOON GUARDS                                          41

  II. THE CARABINIERS                                              43

  III. THE SCOTS GREYS                                             49

   IV. 15TH HUSSARS                                                57

    V. 18TH HUSSARS                                                61

   VI. THE GRENADIER GUARDS                                        63

  VII. THE COLDSTREAM GUARDS                                       71

 VIII. THE ROYAL SCOTS                                             76

   IX. THE "FIGHTING FIFTH"                                        84

    X. THE LIVERPOOL REGIMENT                                      89

   XI. THE NORFOLKS                                                92

  XII. THE BLACK WATCH                                            100

 XIII. THE MANCHESTER REGIMENT                                    113

  XIV. THE GORDON HIGHLANDERS                                     118

   XV. THE CONNAUGHT RANGERS                                      139

  XVI. THE ARGYLL AND SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS                      142

 XVII. THE DUBLIN FUSILIERS                                       146

XVIII. FUENTES D'ONORO AND ALBUERA                                156

   XIX. BALACLAVA AND INKERMAN                                    178



NICKNAMES OF THE REGIMENTS AND HOW THEY WERE WON


"The Rusty Buckles."

The 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) got their name of "The Bays" in
1767 when they were mounted on bay horses--a thing which distinguished
them from other regiments, which, with the exception of the Scots
Greys, had black horses. Their nickname, "The Rusty Buckles," though
lending itself to a ready explanation, is doubtful as to its origin;
but one thing is certain that the rust remained on the buckles only
because the fighting was so strenuous and prolonged that there was no
time to clean it off.


"The Royal Irish."

The 4th Dragoon Guards received this title in 1788, in recognition of
its long service in Ireland since 1698. The regiment also has the name
of the "Blue Horse" from the blue facings of the uniform.


"The Green Horse."

The 5th Dragoon Guards were given this name in 1717 when their facings
were changed from buff to green. Some time later, after Salamanca, they
were also called the "Green Dragoon Guards."


"Tichborne's Own."

The 6th Dragoon Guards, or Carabiniers, have been known as "Tichborne's
Own" ever since the trial of Arthur Orton, as Sir Roger Tichborne had
served for some time in the regiment. The name of "Carabiniers" has
distinguished them ever since 1692, when they were armed with long
pistols or "carabins." With these weapons they did signal work in
Ireland in 1690-1.


"Scots Greys."

This regiment, the 2nd Dragoons, has been known by many names: "Second
to None," "The Old Greys," "Royal Regiment of Scots Dragoons," (in
1681, when they were commanded by the famous Claverhouse); "The Grey
Dragoons" in 1700, the "Scots Regiment of White Horses," the "Royal
Regiment of North British Dragoons" in 1707, the "2nd Dragoons" in
1713, and the "2nd Royal North British Dragoons" in 1866.

Associated with them and all their different names is the memorable cry
of "Scotland for ever"--that wild shout they raised as they charged the
French infantry at Waterloo. At Ramillies they captured the colours of
the French Régiment du Roi and by this gained the right to wear
grenadier caps instead of helmets. "Bubbly Jocks" is a nickname
frequently used among themselves--a name derived from the fact that
their dress in its general effect is not unlike that of the "Bubbly
Jock" or turkey cock.


"Lord Adam Gordon's Life Guards."

The 3rd Hussars received this nickname from the fact that when Lord
Adam Gordon commanded the regiment in Scotland he kept it there for
such a long time--"for _life_" so to speak. When it was raised, in
1685, the regiment was called "The Queen Consort's Regiment of
Dragoons." In 1691 it was known as "Leveson's Dragoons." In the time of
the George's it was called variously "King's Own Dragoons" and "Bland's
Horse." In 1818 it was made a "Light Dragoon" regiment, and it was not
until 1861 that it became Hussars.


"Paget's Irregular Horse."

The 4th Hussars received this title on its return from foreign service,
when it was remarked that its drill was less regular than that of the
other regiments. In 1685 it was called the "Princess Ann of Denmark's
Regiment of Dragoons." Like the 3rd it was formed into a regiment of
Hussars in 1861.


"The Red Breasts."

The 5th Lancers, or Royal Irish, are called "Red Breasts" because of
their scarlet facings. In 1689 they were known as the "Royal Irish
Dragoons," having been raised to assist at the siege of Londonderry in
1688. They became the "5th Royal Irish Lancers" in 1858. This regiment
has also been called the "Daily Advertisers," but the derivation of
this name is somewhat obscure.


"The Delhi Spearmen."

The 9th Lancers received this name from the rebels of the Indian
Mutiny, against whom they used their long lances with such deadly
effect. In 1830 they were known as the "Queen's Royal Lancers," and
"Wynne's Dragoons."


"The Cherry Pickers."

The 11th Hussars were dubbed "Cherry Pickers" because some of their men
during the Peninsular War were taken prisoners in a fruit garden while
supposed to be on outpost duty. They are known also as "Prince Albert's
Own" from the fact that they formed part of the Prince's escort from
Dover to Canterbury when he arrived in England in 1840 as the late
Queen's chosen Consort. One hears them sometimes referred to as the
"Cherubims," from their crimson overalls, busby bag, and crimson and
white plume.


"The Supple 12th."

It was at Salamanca that the 12th Lancers received this honoured name,
because of their dash and rapid movements.


"The Fighting 15th."

It was at Emsdorf that the 15th Hussars won this name, and their feat
of arms on that field gained them the privilege to wear on their
helmets the following inscription: "Five battalions of French defeated
and taken by this Regiment with their colours and nine pieces of cannon
at Emsdorf, 16th July, 1760." In 1794, at Villiers-en-Couché, they
charged with the Austrian Leopold Hussars against vastly superior
numbers to protect the person of the Austrian Emperor. In recognition
of this the then Kaiser presented each of the eight surviving officers
with a medal. In 1799 they received the Royal honour of decking their
helmets with scarlet feathers. The "Fighting 15th" are also known in
history as "Elliot's Light Horse."


"The Dumpies."

The 20th Hussars, together with the 19th and 21st, received the name of
"Dumpies" from the fact that the regiment when formed of volunteers
from the disbanded Bengal European Cavalry of the East India Company
were short and dumpy. Though nowadays there is many a giant among the
20th, the name of "Dumpies" still survives.


"The Mudlarks."

The Royal Engineers received this name from the nature of their
ordinary business in war. In 1722 they were called the "Soldier
Artificers Corps"; and, in 1813, "The Royal Sappers and Miners."


"The Gunners."

The Royal Artillery have held this name from their regular formation in
1793. Formerly, after the rebellion in Scotland, they were known as the
"Royal Regiment of Artillery," and, though not in any way formed into a
regiment, they date still further back, one might say even to the early
days when guns were made of wood and leather. That was before 1543,
when the first gun was cast in England. In 1660 the master gunner was
called the "Chief Fire Master". The Honourable Artillery Company was
founded in 1537 and is the oldest Volunteer Corps in Great Britain.


"The Sandbags."

The Grenadier Guards gained this peculiar name from their special
privilege of working in plain clothes for wages at coal or gravel
heaving, and for this same reason they were often called "Coalheavers."
They seem to have got this name in Flanders, where they excelled at
trench work. Another of their nicknames is "Old Eyes." In 1657 they
were known as the "Royal Regiment of Guards," and in 1660 as the
"King's Regiment of Guards."


"The Coldstreamers."

The Coldstream Guards received their name in 1666 when Monk marched
them from Coldstream to assist Charles II to regain his throne. They
have been called the "_Nulli Secundus Club_," in memory of the
fact that Charles, before he hit on the name "Coldstream Guards,"
wished to call them the "2nd Foot Guards," a thing to which they
strongly objected, saying that they were "second to none."


"The Jocks."

The origin of this name for the Scots Guards is obvious. History is a
little uncertain about their record, as their papers were burnt by
accident in 1841; but this is certain, that they were raised as Scots
Guards in 1639 and were called later the "Scots Fusilier Guards" and
the "3rd Foot Guards," after which, in 1877, they resumed the name of
"Scots Guards."


"Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard."

This strange nickname of the Royal Scots Regiment is based on an
equally strange story. As long ago as 1637, when most other regiments
were as yet unborn, a dispute arose between the Royal Scots and the
Picardy Regiment on the point of priority in age. The Picardy Regiment
claimed to have been on duty the night after the Crucifixion. But the
Royal Scots met this with a withering volley. "Had we been on duty
then," they said, "we should not have slept at our post." This incident
caused some wag to dub the Royal Scots "Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard,"
and the name has stuck to them ever since. There is another tradition
that this regiment represents the body of Scottish Archers, who for
many centuries formed the guard of the French Kings. It fought in the
seven years' war under Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, and was
incorporated in the British Army in 1633. Since then, whenever war has
been declared, every man of "Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard" has been among
the last to stay at home.


"The Lions."

The Royal Lancaster Regiment bears upon its colour the Lions of
England, disposed, as in Trafalgar Square, one at each quarter. This
distinction was given them by the Prince of Orange, as they were the
first regiment to join him in 1688 when he landed at Torbay. They have
also been called "Barrell's Blues" from their Commander and their blue
facings. They received the title of "King's Own" from George I., in
1715, and our late King Edward became their Colonel-in-Chief in 1903.
Our present King is now the Colonel-in-Chief.


"Kirke's Lambs."

The Royal West Surrey Regiment (The Queen's) derived this name from
Kirke and from the Paschal Lamb in each of the four corners of its
colour. The name has also an ironical derivation from the fact that
they were employed to enforce the cruelties of "Bloody Judge Jeffreys."
Another nickname of theirs is the "First Tangerines," because they were
raised in 1661 as the "Tangiers Regiment of Foot," for the purpose of
garrisoning Tangiers, at that time a British possession. John
Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, began his career in this Regiment.
Another nickname, "Sleepy Queen's" is derived from a slight omission of
theirs at Almeida, when, through some oversight, they allowed General
Brennier to escape. But they have so far lived this down that now,
_ut lucus a non lucendo_, they are called "sleepy" because they are
always very wide awake.


"The Shiners."

The Northumberland Fusiliers deserve that name because they are always
so spic-and-span. They also deserve the name of "Fighting Fifth"
because they have many a time proved their right to it. At the battle
of Kirch Denkern (1761) they captured a whole regiment of French
infantry, and, in the following year, at Wilhelmsthal, they took twice
their own number prisoners. They have also the name of "Lord
Wellington's Body Guard" because, in 1811, they were attached to
Headquarters. Another name is "The Old and Bold." On St. George's day
the "Fighting Fifth" wear roses in their caps, but the origin of this
is not clear, unless it may be that one of their badges is "St. George
and the Dragon," and another "The Rose and Crown." They also wear the
white feathers of the French Grenadiers on the anniversary of the
battle of La Vigie, when Comte de Grasse attempted to relieve the
Island of St. Lucia in the West Indies. On that occasion the "Old and
Bold" took the white plumes from the caps of their defeated opponents,
the French Grenadiers. To-day, the white in the red and white hackle
now worn by them refers back to that terrible death-struggle. The 5th
is the only foot regiment which has the distinction of a red and white
pompon. It is worth recording here that they formed part of a force
which repulsed overwhelming numbers of the enemy on the heights of El
Bodon (1811) during the investment of Ciudad Rodrigo. The Iron Duke
spoke of this achievement as "a memorable example of what can be done
by steadiness, discipline and confidence."


"The Elegant Extracts."

The word sounds like a fashionable chemical compound, but its real
meaning is derived from the fact that the officers of the Royal
Fusiliers--except 2nd Lieutenants and Ensigns, of which at the time
they had none--were "extracted" from other corps. In the eighteenth
century they were known as the "Hanoverian White Horse." Those who have
lived to remember the Crimean War will remember also that brave song,
"Fighting with the 7th Royal Fusiliers"--a song which became so popular
that the regiment could have been recruited four times over had it been
necessary.


"The Leather Hats."

The King's (Liverpool) Regiment gained their name from their head-gear.
They were raised by James II. in 1685. In the American War an officer
and 40 men of the "Leather Hats" captured a fort held by 400 of the
enemy. It is interesting to know that this regiment has an allied
regiment of the Australian Commonwealth--the 8th Australian Infantry
Regiment.


"The Holy Boys."

The Norfolk Regiment has had this name ever since the Peninsular War.
In that campaign the Spaniards, seeing the figure of Britannia on the
cross-belts of the 9th, thought that it was a representation of the
Virgin Mary. There is another story to the effect that they derive
their name from their reputed practice of selling their Bibles to buy
drink during the Peninsular War. But this I do not believe. Another
name for them is the "Fighting Ninth"--a title which no one can refuse
to believe. Their bravery at the siege of St. Sebastian might alone
justify it.


"The Springers."

The Lincolnshire Regiment received this nickname during the American
War because they were remarkable in their readiness to spring into
action when called upon. It was the first infantry regiment to enter
Boer territory during the late South African War. Their other name of
"Lincolnshire Poachers" has no satisfactory derivation.


"The Bloody Eleventh."

There are two stories to account for this nickname of the Devonshire
Regiment. One is that at Salamanca they were in a very sanguinary
condition after the battle. The other is that when they were in Dublin
in 1690 the regiment's contractor supplied bad meat, on which they
swore that if he did so again they would hang the butcher. There was no
improvement in the meat, so they hanged the delinquent in front of his
own shop on one of his own meat-hooks. It is no doubt the first story
that is the true one. Another name for the Devonshires is "One and
All." It was a man in this regiment who wounded Napoleon at Toulon in
1793.


"The Old Dozen."

The Suffolk Regiment won glory for itself at the siege of Gibraltar. It
also behaved with the greatest gallantry at Minden, and that is why on
the 1st of August (Minden Day) the "Old Dozen" parade with a rose in
the head-dress of each man. In connection with this they are also
called the "Minden Boys."


"The Peacemakers."

The Bedfordshire Regiment were first known as the "Peacemakers" because
at that time there were no battles on its colours. For the same reason
no doubt they were also called "Bloodless Lambs." Another nickname of
theirs is "The Old Bucks"--a title justified by their hard fighting in
the Netherlands under William III. and also under Marlborough.


"The Bengal Tigers."

The Leicestershire Regiment gets its name from the Royal Green Tiger on
its badge. This distinction was given it for a brilliant achievement in
the Nepal War of 1814, when they captured a Standard bearing a tiger.
They are also called "Lily Whites," from their white facings.


"The Green Howards."

The Yorkshire Regiment was commanded by Colonel Howard, and has green
facings. They are also called "Howard's Garbage," and must not be
confused with the 24th Foot, also once commanded by a Colonel Howard,
and styled "Howard's Greens."


"The Earl of Mar's Grey Breeks."

The Royal Scots Fusiliers received this name from the colour of their
breeches at the time the regiment was raised in 1678. "The Grey Breeks"
wear a white plume in their head-dress--an honour bestowed in
recognition of their services during the Boer War.


"The Lightning Conductors."

There is some doubt as to how the Cheshire Regiment acquired this name.
But it may be connected in some way with the fact that at Dettingen,
when George II. was attacked by the French Cavalry, they formed round
him under an oak tree and drove the enemy off. In remembrance of this
occasion the oak leaf is worn by them at all inspections and reviews in
obedience to the wish of George II. when he plucked a leaf from the
tree and handed it to the Commander. They are also known as the "Two
Twos" from their number, the 22nd. Another of their names is "The Red
Knights," because, when recruiting at Chelmsford in 1795, red jackets,
breeches and waistcoats were served out to them instead of the proper
uniform. This regiment, under the name of the "Soulsburg Grenadiers,"
was under Wolfe when he was mortally wounded at Quebec.


"The Nanny Goats."

The Royal Welsh Fusiliers are known as "Nanny Goats" or "Royal Goats"
because they always have a goat, with shields and garlands on its
horns, marching bravely at the head of the drum. This has been their
custom for over a hundred years. A glance at the back of their tunics
reveals a small piece of silk known as a "flash." It has been there
ever since the days when its office was to keep the powdered pigtail
from soiling the tunic. The King is Colonel-in-Chief of the "Nanny
Goats."


"Howard's Greens."

The South Wales Borderers were at one time commanded by a Colonel
Howard. It was a company of this regiment which achieved immortal glory
at Rorke's Drift, which they defended against 3,000 Zulus. In Africa
they gained no less than eight V.C.'s. On the Queen's colour of each
battalion may be seen a silver wreath. This was bestowed by Queen
Victoria in memory of Lieutenants Melville and Coghill, who died to
save the colours at Isandlhwana.


"The Botherers."

The King's Own Scottish Borderers--the only regiment that was allowed
to beat up for recruits in Edinburgh without asking the Lord Provost's
permission--were called "Botherers," partly on this account and partly
by corruption from "Borderers." They bear also the name of "Leven's
Regiment," from the remarkable fact that in 1689 they were raised by
the Earl of Leven in Edinburgh, in the space of four hours. They are
also known as the "K.O.B.s."


"The Cameronians."

The 1st Battalion of the Scottish Rifles are the descendants of the
Glasgow Cameronian Guard which was raised during the Revolution of 1688
from the Cameronians, a strict set of Presbyterians founded by
Archibald Cameron, the martyr. The 2nd Battalion is known as "Sir
Thomas Graham's Perthshire Grey Breeks." It received this name from the
fact that when Lord Moira ordered the regiment to be equipped and
trained as a Light Infantry Corps, their uniforms consisted of a red
jacket faced with buff, over a red waistcoat, with buff tights and
Hessians for the officers, and light grey pantaloons for the men. Both
battalions now wear dark green doublets and tartan "trews."


"The Slashers."

The Gloucestershire Regiment derives its name of "Slashers" from its
achievements in the battle of the White Plains in 1777. There is
another story, however, that the name arose from a report that, on one
occasion, a magistrate having refused shelter to the women of the
regiment during a severe winter, some of the officers disguised
themselves as Indians and slashed off both his ears. In Torres Straits
there is a reef which is marked on the charts as the "Slashers' Reef"
because, after the Khyber Pass disaster of 1842, the "Slashers" were on
the way from Australia to India when the transport conveying them
grounded on this reef. Their other name of the "Old Braggs" is derived
from their Commander, General Braggs, of 1734. In regard to this there
is the tradition of an order given by a wag of a Colonel when the "Old
Braggs" were brigaded with other regiments with Royal Titles. The order
runs:

    "Neither Kings nor Queens nor Royal Marines,
    But 28th Old Braggs;
    Brass before and brass behind;
    Ne'er feared a foe of any kind,--
                Shoulder arms!"


"The Vein Openers."

The Worcestershire Regiment were dubbed "The Vein Openers" by the
people of Boston, (U.S.A.) in 1770, because they were the first to draw
blood in the preliminary disturbances before the war. After the
Peninsular War they were called "Old and Bold." Another name for them
is "Star of the Line," from the eight-pointed star on their pouches--a
distinction peculiarly their own. The 2nd Battalion were known as the
"Saucy Greens" from the colour of their facings and, presumably, their
extreme sauciness.


"The Young Buffs."

The 1st Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment derived their nickname
from a peculiar royal mistake. At the battle of Dettingen, King George
II., mistaking them for the "3rd Buffs," called out "Bravo Old Buffs!"
Being reminded that they were not the "Old Buffs" but the 31st, His
Majesty at once corrected his cry to "Bravo, Young Buffs!" and the name
has stuck to the battalion ever since. The 2nd Battalion was raised at
Glasgow in 1756 and takes its name of "Glasgow Greys" from that and the
facings of the uniform.


"The Red Feathers."

The 2nd Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry gained their
nickname by a signal act of defiant heroism. During the American War of
Independence they learned that the enemy had marked them down as men to
whom no quarter was to be given. On this the Light Company, wishing to
restrict the full force of this threat to themselves, and to prevent
others suffering by mistake, stained their plume feathers red as a
distinguishing mark. For this fine act they were authorised to wear a
red feather, and this honour is perpetuated in the red cloth of the
helmet and cap badge and the red pughri worn on foreign service. Their
other nickname "The Lacedæmonians" has a dash of grim humour in its
origin. During the same war, at the time of all times when the men were
under a withering fire, their Colonel made a long speech to them--all
about the Lacedæmonians, a brave race enough, but terribly ignorant of
rifle fire.


"The Havercake Lads."

The West Riding Regiment (The Duke of Wellington's) is said to have
derived its nickname from the fact that the recruiting sergeants in the
old days carried an oat cake on the points of their swords. There is a
joke among "The Havercakes" as old as their first recruiting sergeant.
This enterprising man was in the habit of addressing the Yorkshire
crowd as follows: "Come, my lads; don't lose your time listening to
what them foot sojers says about their ridgements. List in _my_
ridgement and you'll be all right. Their ridgements are obliged to
march on foot, but _my_ ridgement is the gallant 33rd, the First
Yorkshire West _Riding_ Ridgement, and when ye join headquarters ye'll
be all mounted on horses."

The 2nd Battalion is known as "The Immortals," from the fact that in
the Indian wars under Lord Lake every man bore the marks of wounds.
They were also called "The Seven and Sixpennies" from their number
(76th) and from the fact that seven and sixpence represented a
lieutenant's pay.


"The Orange Lilies."

The 1st Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment was named "The Orange
Lilies" from their early facings, orange, a mark of favour from William
III., in 1701, and the white plume taken from the Roussillon French
Grenadiers at Quebec in 1759. They were originally called "The Belfast
Regiment" then "The Prince of Orange's Own." The orange facings were
replaced by blue in 1832, and the white plumes disappeared in 1810; but
the white (Roussillon) plume is still a badge of the Royal Sussex.


"The Pump and Tortoise."

The 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment earned half their
nickname from their extreme sobriety and the other half from the slow
way they set about their work when actually stationed at Malta. The 2nd
Battalion is known as "The Staffordshire Knots."


"Sankey's Horse."

The 2nd Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment, under Colonel Sankey in 1707,
arrived at Almanza during the battle mounted on mules, hence the term
"Sankey's Horse," applied to a foot regiment. They were the first
King's regiment to land in India, in memory of which they have for
their motto "Primus in Indis." In 1742 the regiment was popularly known
as "The Green Linnets" from the "sad green" facings of its uniform. The
2nd Battalion acquired the name of "The Flamers" from their large share
in the destruction of the town and stores of New London, together with
twelve privateers, by fire in 1781.


"The Excellers."

This name was fastened upon the 1st Battalion South Lancashire Regiment
from its number (XL the 40th). It is also known as "The Fighting
Fortieth." Until its amalgamation with the 82nd it had the honour of
being next to the Royal Scots in the number of battle honours on its
colour.


"The 1st Invalids."

The 1st Battalion Welsh Regiment is set down in old Army Lists under
this name because it was first raised as a regiment of Invalids, in
1719. In George II's, time it was known as "Wardour's Regiment." The
nickname of the 2nd Battalion is a curious play on words--or rather
figures. They are called the "Ups and Downs" because their number
(69th) reads the same when inverted. The 69th are also called "The Old
Agamemnons," a fancy title bestowed on them by Lord Nelson at St.
Vincent after the name of his ship, on which a detachment was serving
as marines.


"The Black Watch."

The Royal Highlanders won this honoured name from the sombre colour of
their tartan some ten years before their Highland Companies were formed
into a regiment known as "The Highland Regiment." Its first Colonel,
Lord Crawford, being a lowlander, had no family tartan, so, it is said,
this special tartan was devised. The bright colours in the various
tartans are said to have been extracted, leaving only the dark green
ground. The French, under the impression that in their own mountainous
country they ran wild and naked, called them "Sauvages d'Ecosse." The
red hackle in their bonnets was won at Guildermalsen in 1794.


"The Cauliflowers."

The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment have this nickname from the former
colour of the facings of the 1st Battalion. They are also called "The
Lancashire Lads." After Quebec the 47th were nicknamed "Wolfe's Own"
and to this day the officers of both battalions wear a black worm in
their lace gold as a sign of sorrow for their general's death. This is
the only regiment that is officially styled "Loyal," the 2nd Battalion
having been known prior to 1881 as the 81st (Loyal Lincoln Volunteers).


"The Steelbacks."

This is the name applied to the Northamptonshire Regiment because of
the unflinching way in which they took their floggings. While under
Wellington in the Peninsular War one, Hovenden, a private, was flogged
for breach of discipline. At the twentieth stroke he fainted and this
so disgusted his comrades that on his recovery they cut him dead. Much
annoyed at this Hovenden marched up to the Colonel and called him a
fool, and for this he was ordered to be flogged again. That night the
regiment was attacked by the French, and Hovenden, evading the guard,
arrived on the battlefield in time to see his Colonel captured by the
enemy. With his musket he shot down the captors and then liberated the
Colonel and bound up his wounds. After this he returned to make sure of
his flogging, but was struck by a bullet and killed.

The Northamptonshires have also the honoured name, "Heroes of
Talavera," because they turned the tide of battle on that victorious
day.

  [Illustration: THE "DIE HARDS" AT ALBUERA.
                _From a Painting by R Caton Woodville_]


"The Blind Half Hundred."

The 1st Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment suffered greatly from
ophthalmia in Egypt in 1801, hence this nickname. They were called also
"The Dirty Half Hundred" because the men, when in action in hot
weather, used to wipe their faces with their black cuffs, with obvious
results. Another of their names is "The Devil's Royals," and yet
another "The Gallant 50th"--this last because at Vimiera, in 1807, 900
of them routed 5,307 of the enemy.


"The Kolis."

The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry derive their name of "Kolis"
from their initials. The name often takes the corrupted form of
"Coalies."


"The Die-Hards."

The 1st Battalion Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment) were
styled "Die Hards" from the memorable words of Inglis at Albuera: "Die
hard, my men; die hard!"--words which were endorsed by Stanley at
Inkerman when he said: "Die hard! Remember Albuera!" The 2nd Battalion
are called "The Pothooks," from their number (77).


"The Royal American Provincials."

This distinguished popular name was bestowed on the King's Royal Rifle
Corps because they were raised in America.


"The Bloodsuckers."

The Manchester Regiment appear to have acquired this name from general
and warlike reasons. The 1st Battalion displayed great courage and
steadiness in the defence of Ladysmith. The 2nd Battalion was formerly
the "Minorca Regiment" and became part of the Line in 1804 as the 97th
(Queen's German) Regiment, becoming later the 96th Foot.


"The Strada Reale Highlanders."

The Gordon Highlanders (92nd and 75th) would propound a riddle to you:
What is the difference between the 92nd and the 75th? The answer is
that the 92nd are real Highlanders, and the 75th are Real(e)
Highlanders.


"The Cia mar tha's."

The Cameron Highlanders owe this nickname to Sir Allen Cameron, who
raised the regiment. It was his word to everybody: "Cia mar tha!" (How
d'ye do!)


"The Garvies."

The Connaught Rangers are called "Garvies" because their recruits, when
first the regiment was raised, were both lean and raw. Now a "garvie"
is a small herring.


"The Blue Caps."

At the time of the relief of Cawnpore, a despatch of Nana Sahib was
intercepted, containing a reference to those "blue-capped English
soldiers who fought like devils." These "Blue-Caps" were the Madras
Fusiliers, then a "John Company" regiment, but now the 1st Battalion
Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The name was later stamped in perpetuity by
Havelock, at the bridge of Charbagh. The question was put to him by
Outram as to who could possibly carry the bridge under so deadly a
fire. "My Blue Caps!" replied Havelock, and his faith in them was
justified, for they carried it against overwhelming odds. The Bombay
Fusiliers (another "John Company" regiment) now the 2nd Battalion Royal
Dublin Fusiliers, have an equally distinguished record. They have been
known as "The Old Toughs."



BRITISH REGIMENTS AT THE FRONT



THE 5TH DRAGOON GUARDS

(CADOGAN'S HORSE).


The 5th Dragoon Guards were raised by the Earl of Shrewsbury to support
James against "King Monmouth" at Sedgmoor. For the same reasons that
"Britons never, never will be slaves," they refused, on consideration,
to support James, and sided with William, for whom they threw in their
weight at the Boyne. They were also at a former siege of Namur, and
bore themselves bravely at Blenheim.

The story is told that, after that battle, a Sunday Church parade was
called, in which the British army deployed to fire a volley of victory,
and Marshal Tallard, who was a prisoner, was reluctantly present on
that occasion. After the volley, the Duke of Marlborough turned to
Tallard, and asked what he thought of the British army. "Well enough,"
replied Tallard, shrugging his shoulders, "but the troops they
defeated, why, those are the best soldiers in the world!" "If that is
so," said the Duke, "what will the world think of the fellows who
thrashed them?" All obvious enough, but the Duke would never have slept
quietly in his bed if he had left it unstated.

At Salamanca, with the 3rd and 4th Light Dragoons, the 5th Dragoon
Guards carved their way through a treble thickness of French army
columns, under a heavy fire. For this marvellous achievement
"Salamanca" is writ large on their colours.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR BATTLE HONOURS, ETC.

    MOTTO.--"Vestigia nulla retrorsum."

    BATTLE HONOURS.--Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet,
    Salamanca, Vittoria, Toulouse, Peninsula, Balaclava, Sevastopol,
    S. Africa 1899-1902, Defence of Ladysmith.

    UNIFORM.--Scarlet, dark green facings, red and white plume.



THE CARABINIERS

("TICHBORNE'S OWN.")

    "It is your sex that makes us go forth to fight....
    It is your sex who cherish our memories."

    _Nelson._


There is not a woman in our vast Empire who has not good cause to
regard with admiration and gratitude those noble protectors and
terrible avengers of the honour of their sex--the Carabiniers. During
the Indian Mutiny--but first a brief word as to their history.

It dates from the time of Monmouth's rebellion, when they were raised
by Lord Lumley to support King James. Owing to the fact, however, that
Lord Lumley was no supporter of the king's tyrannies, the regiment
seceded, and later, when the Prince of Orange landed, threw in their
lot with him whole-heartedly. Their title, "The Carabiniers," was
bestowed upon them in recognition of the great part they played in the
battle of the Boyne, for William had in mind the famous carabiniers of
Louis XIV.

In the list of the glories of the Carabiniers is Aughrim. Macaulay says
about this occasion: "St. Ruth laughed when he saw the Carabiniers and
the Blues struggling through a morass under a fire which, at every
moment, laid some gallant hat and feather on the earth." "What did they
mean?" he asked, and then he swore it was a pity to see such fine
fellows marching to certain destruction. Nevertheless, at the issue of
that business, it was he, and his troops, that reaped the destruction.

It was some little time later that the Carabiniers saved the situation
for King William at Landen, by an obstinate stand against his pursuers,
while he crossed the bridge. As Corporal Trim in "Tristram Shandy"
says; "If it had not been for the regiments of Wyndham, (_i.e._, the
Carabiniers) Lumley and Galway, which covered the retreat over the
bridge at Neerspecken, the king himself could scarcely have gained it."

In three continents the Carabiniers have fought their way to an exalted
fame. At Ramillies they captured the standard of the Royal Regiment of
Bombardiers of France. At Malplaquet they measured steel and courage
with the formidable Household Brigade of France and came out
victorious. And from that time onward their glorious career can be
traced through Europe, Asia and Africa in such clear lines that the
enemy who runs has read.

But it was during the time of the Indian Mutiny that they performed
feats of valour for which we British men, as well as the women, owe
them heartfelt gratitude. They were among the reinforcements sent out
to stay the terrible tide of massacre and rapine. How they struggled
for life and empire at Delhi; repulsed the rebels outside Lucknow with
fearful carnage, with loss of their leader; and, finally, when Lucknow
had fallen, pursued the rebels with relentless wrath, dealing vengeance
with a heavy hand--all this has been written by many pens. It has been
the theme to make the driest book most vivid reading. It was the story
of stern, ruthless punishment and revenge for the horrible crimes
committed by the then unregenerate Sepoy against helpless women and
children--crimes of torture, murder, wholesale massacre, and
unconceivable outrage.

One has only to remember the horrible atrocities of the Indian Mutiny
to acquit the Carabiniers of any charge of undue ferocity; one has only
to remember Cawnpore, and the women and the babies, in order to admire
their offices of stern, relentless retribution. And all this happened
at the very time when all London was celebrating the centenary of the
sublime victory of Plassey, and the brilliant acquisition of the Indian
Empire under the genius of Clive.

When, at Meerut, on that never-to-be-forgotten Sunday, they pursued the
fiends responsible for that awful massacre, the Carabiniers, together
with the 60th Rifles drew a very determined line between righteous
revenge and feeble long-sufferance; between just wrath, that
ever-potential factor in heroic blood: primitive wrath, and its cognate
barbarity of act. "Remember the women! Remember the babies!" ran
through the ranks on that occasion; and, with one heart and mind, the
Carabiniers and the 60th, an avenging host, pursued the rebels, and cut
them to pieces, right up to the very gates of Delhi, imprecating as
they slew. And well they might be forgiven for that. Never were the
lives of the innocent and defenceless so quickly, terribly, yet justly
avenged; never has a more awful nemesis from human hands fallen upon
the destroyers of women and women's honour. And, remembering all this,
we defend it and uphold it, for we know full well that, in this present
war, the barbarities and atrocities committed by an unprincipled enemy
must again meet with this righteous kind of vengeance. And, if it is
the traditional and special aspiration of the Carabiniers of to-day to
cry "Remember Louvain! Remember the women and babies of Belgium!" shall
we say "Hold and spare!" No! shall we say, "Vengeance is God's: God
will repay!" Yes, with all our heart and soul; and what better agency
for repayment than that of our noble Carabiniers! They are not of the
kind to repay barbarity with barbarity; but they are of the kind to use
their swords with singular effect, and like English gentlemen, whose
special office it is to wreak proper vengeance to-day as in the past on
the destroyers of women and children.

At Gungaree the Carabiniers lost three of their officers, but for this
they took a heavy toll. Meeting the rebels three days later, they
defeated them completely, taking their leaders prisoners. Again the
terrible work began. Hotly they pursued the flying rebels, and put them
to the sword without a show of quarter. Rebel blood flowed like water
for the rebel deeds they had committed against right and honour.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR BATTLE HONOURS, ETC.

    BATTLE HONOURS.--Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet,
    Sevastopol, Delhi, Afghanistan 1879-80, S. Africa 1889-1902, Relief
    of Kimberley, Paardeberg.

    UNIFORM.--Blue, white facings, white plume.

  [Illustration: CHARGE OF SCOTS GREYS AT WATERLOO.
                _From a Painting by R. Caton Woodville._]



THE SCOTS GREYS

("SECOND TO NONE")

    "Greys, gallant Greys! I am 61 years old, but, if I were young
    again, I should like to be one of you."--_Sir Colin Campbell at
    Balaclava._


The 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys), whose motto is "Second to None,"
are pictured to British eyes and imaginations in that wonderful
painting, "Scotland for Ever." The Charge of the Light Brigade, great
and glorious as it was, is, and ever will be, is perpetually linked
with the Charge of the Heavy Brigade, under Scarlett, when, faced with
a vastly superior force of the enemy, it offered such heroic
assistance, that, had it not been for this, the glory of the immortal
six hundred might not have been sung in the same triumphant voice. It
was a gallant feat on the part of the "Heavies"--a feat which, though
somewhat overshadowed by the dazzling "Charge of the Six Hundred," was
nevertheless greatly influential in turning the tide of battle.

(Inseparately connected with the Scots Greys at the front to-day, is
the Prince of Wales' Royal Lancers--the 12th. At Salamanca the "supple
12th" joined in the final charge which routed the French cavalry. At
Vittoria the Greys saw Joseph deprived of his crown, and were
fortunately present at the conquest of San Sebastian. In Egypt they won
honours under Abercromby, and to-day the emblazonment of the mystic
sphinx on their standard bears witness to the most heroic deeds. What
they have done, that they can do, and their gallant deeds in the
present super-war show that while the Scots Greys are still second to
none, the 12th Lancers are among the first in every glorious deed.)

The charge of the Greys and Inniskillings has been graphically
described by many writers. Perhaps the words "Up the hill, up the hill,
up the hill," describe most vividly the terrific struggle. But Kinglake
tells the story tensely:

    "As lightning flashes through a cloud, the Greys and Inniskillings
    pierced through the dark masses of the Russians. The shock was but
    for a moment. There was a clash of steel, and a light play of sword
    blades in the air, and then the Greys and the Red Coats disappeared
    in the midst of the shaken and quivering columns. In another moment
    we saw them marching in diminished numbers, and charging against
    the second line.... The first line of Russians, which had been
    utterly smashed by our charge, were coming back to swallow up our
    handful of men. By sheer steel and sheer courage, Inniskilliner and
    Scot were winning their desperate way right through the enemies'
    squadrons."

When we read to-day that the 5th British Cavalry Brigade, under General
Chetwode, fought a brilliant action with German cavalry, in the course
of which the 12th Lancers and Royal Scots Greys routed the enemy,
spearing large numbers in flight, our thoughts fly back to the old
days, when the 12th Lancers and the "Second to Nones" anticipated these
feats of valour.

It was at Ramillies that the Scots Greys galloped straight through a
difficult morass, with an infantry battle raging round them. On they
went, till they gained the approach to the heights beyond. Then they
dashed up the steep acclivity to the heights, and down the other side,
where they thundered like an avalanche on the enemy's Household
Brigade. The impact of that sudden crash seemed to shake the
battlefield. Says one who was there: "The crash of our meeting rose
above the noise of battle; it was like sudden thunder." The French
fought with the utmost desperation, but they were matched this time,
not with nondescript and poorly trained Continental troops, but with
picked British, and were literally swept away before the Scots Greys.
Many battalions of infantry under their protection were cut to pieces
by the Scots Greys and the Royal Irish Dragoons, the predecessors of
the 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers. Still the Greys pursued their
devastating career through Autreglise, and, at a point beyond, overtook
the French Régiment du Roi, and secured its surrender. All that night,
like flying demons, they pursued the retreating enemy, and what they
did is traditionally summed up in the fact that they returned with no
less than sixteen standards--truly a noble achievement!

Again, at Malplaquet, the Scots Greys and the Royal Irish Dragoons came
up against their old enemies the French Household Brigade. In three
victorious charges they sustained the honour of their old victories
over them, routing them utterly. Fate seems specially to have designed
the Scots Greys and the Royal Irish to combat the French Household
Brigade in days gone by, for, on many occasions when they have met, the
pride of the latter has fallen before the valour of the former. Not
only at Malplaquet, but also at Dettingen, the Greys, having cut their
way through the French Cuirassiers, launched themselves irresistibly
upon the French Household Cavalry. On this occasion, they swept them
from the banks of the river, and wrested from them their crowning
glory--their white standard of damask, embroidered with gold and
silver, bearing in its centre a thunderbolt above their motto "Sensere
Gigantes." So to-day it may be said that the giants who fell three
times before the Scots Greys are now in the company of the Brobdignags.

Some other battles in which the Greys multiplied their glories are as
follow:--Drouet, Oudenarde, Bethune, St. Venant, Aire, Bouchain,
Sheriffmuir, and Fontenoy.

Apart, and not yet apart, from their glorious traditions of battle, the
Greys have a peculiar romance centring round one of their number, who
fought for long years in their midst before it was ultimately
discovered that their comrade of many fights was a woman. How, why, and
where Christian Davies (née Cavanagh) first entered the army is a
matter of some doubt, but we first hear of her in the Netherlands as a
private soldier, whither, as the story goes, she had gone to find her
husband. Here she lived the life of the ordinary soldier, and
maintained her disguise through everything, even flirting with the
Dutch girls to such an extent that she was forced to fight a duel with
a jealous sergeant, whom she wounded severely. On account of this she
was obliged to leave the regiment, but immediately joined the Scots
Greys. While living and fighting with these, she discovered her
husband, but, being enamoured of the free soldier's life more than of
him, she bade him wait till the conclusion of the war. Mean while, at
her desire, he and she passed as brothers.

It was during the charge of the Scots Greys at Ramillies that Christian
Davies met with a serious wound at the hands of a French dragoon, and,
being brought to hospital, she confessed, to the surprise and
admiration of all, that she was a woman. On her recovery, she still
accompanied the army, as a vivandière, in which capacity she was
extremely popular. Ultimately, when the terrors of war had made her
twice a widow, she returned to England, where Queen Anne graciously
received her in audience, and presented her with a bounty of £50,
together with a pension of 1s. a day. At her funeral in Chelsea, in
1739, she was accorded full military honours, and all the Scots Greys,
at least, know well that three full volleys were fired above her grave.

It is worth noting that the Royal Scots Greys, who, in the past, have
fought fiercely against the Russians, have now as their Colonel-in-Chief
H.I.M. Nicolas II., Emperor of Russia, K.G.--no longer an enemy, but a
friend and an ally.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR BADGES AND BATTLE HONOURS, ETC.

    BADGES.--The Thistle within the Circle and Motto of the Order of
    the Thistle. An Eagle.

    MOTTO.--"1546."

    BATTLE HONOURS.--Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet,
    Dettingen, Waterloo, Balaclava, Sevastopol, S. Africa 1899-1902,
    Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg.

    UNIFORM.--Scarlet, blue facings, white plume.



15TH HUSSARS (THE KING'S)

("ELLIOT'S LIGHT HORSE.")

    "Merebimur."--_Their Motto._


One of the most thrilling and romantic episodes in cavalry fighting is
the historic achievement of the 15th Hussars at Emsdorf. It was in
July, 1760, that Major Erskine halted his troopers near the German
village of Emsdorf, and bade them pluck the fresh twigs from the
overhanging oaks, with a word of exhortation to the effect that they
would acquit themselves with the firmness and stubbornness which have
always been ascribed to that symbolic tree. Not long after this, the
15th formed part of the Prince of Brunswick's troops, which had
surrounded six battalions of French infantry, together with some
artillery, and a regiment of hussars. The enemy eventually broke
through, and fled, pursued by the 15th, who were unassisted. So hot was
the pursuit, and so terrible the punishment inflicted by our hussars,
that the enemy was forced to surrender no less than 177 officers, 2,482
men, nine guns, six pairs of colours, and all the rams and baggage.

All England rang with this achievement of the 15th Light Dragoons, and
never has a squadron received so whole-hearted a eulogy as that
contained in the General Order issued by the Prince of Brunswick. For
many a day "Elliott's Regiment" bore "Emsdorf" on its guidons and
appointments, while upon their helmets was written, "Five battalions of
French defeated and taken by this regiment, with their colours, and
nine pieces of cannon. Emsdorf, 16th July, 1760." Now, as the regiment
has become Hussars, the helmet has given place to the busby with no
inscription; the guidons have disappeared, but the name "Emsdorf" may
still be seen on the drum-cloth.

The 15th were prominent in all the achievements of our army during the
next few years of that campaign. Many are the stories of dashing
assault, grim fighting and heroic rescue, related of them during that
time. When the Duke of Brunswick was surrounded by French Hussars at
Friedburg, and it seemed impossible to prevent his capture, the 15th
Hussars clapped spurs to their horses, and, with a terrific yell, swept
down upon the French at full gallop. It was a body of determined men
against overwhelming numbers; for, when they had driven back the
hussars, they were still involved with the converging squadrons. But,
with desperate valour they held their own until they had extricated
their leader, and then they rode back, leaving double their number of
the enemy dead on the field.

The 15th Hussars were in the thick of the fight at Waterloo, and they
bravely upheld that honour. After suffering great loss in the enemy's
fire they made a dashing charge through storms of lead from both flanks
against a superior force of cuirassiers, whom they drove back with
heavy losses. The Official Record states: "From this period the
regiment made furious charges ... at one moment it was cutting down the
musketeers, at the next it was engaged with lancers, and, when these
were driven back, it encountered cuirassiers." For this glorious
exploit they paid honourably with three officers, two sergeants, and
twenty-three privates killed; seven officers, three sergeants and forty
privates wounded.

The 15th Hussars rendered heroic service in the Afghan War of 1878-80,
when the treacherous Shere Ali was discovered favouring Russian
intrigue. Many were the brilliant achievements of the 15th during this
war, from Ali Musjid up to the investment of the Sherpur Cantonments,
the final relief by Gough's Brigade, and the complete victory at
Kandahar.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR BADGE AND BATTLE HONOURS, ETC.

    BADGE.--The Crest of England within the Garter.

    MOTTO.--"Merebimur."

    BATTLE HONOURS.--Emsdorf, Villers-en-Couché, Egmont-op-Zee,
    Sahagun, Vittoria, Peninsula, Waterloo, Afghanistan 1878-80.

    UNIFORM.--Blue, scarlet busby-bag and plume.



18TH HUSSARS

(DROGHEDA LIGHT HORSE)


The generic name of the 18th Hussars (Drogheda Light Horse) was
bestowed specifically upon the corps raised in Ireland in 1759 by the
Marquis of Drogheda, and numbered as the 19th Light Dragoons. It was
renumbered as the 18th Light Dragoons in 1763, became a Hussar corps in
1807, and was disbanded as the 18th Light Dragoons in 1821.

The present 18th Hussars were raised at Leeds in 1858, and inherited
the honours of the Drogheda Light Horse proper. The silver trumpets
used by the Drogheda Light Horse, and now in the possession of the 18th
Hussars, were provided out of the proceeds of the sale of the captured
horses at the Battle of Waterloo. The motto of the 18th Hussars is "Pro
Rege, pro Lege, pro Patria Conamur" (We fight for King, Law, and
Country).

There is a traditional romance in the annals of the 18th Hussars which
has its confirmation in modern history. A beautiful Spanish lady,
finding herself a refugee with Wellington's forces in the Peninsula,
fell in love with a young English officer named Harry Smith, and
married him. By statesmanship and prowess in war he rose to be Sir
Harry Smith, who commanded the forces that defeated the Boers at
Boomplatz. Subsequently, the town of Ladysmith was so named after his
wife. In this way the Peninsula is linked with South Africa in the
annals of the 18th Hussars, not only by equal deeds in each campaign,
but by a never-to-be-forgotten romance of real life.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR BATTLE HONOURS. ETC.

    MOTTO.--"Pro Rege, pro Lege, pro Patria conamur."

    BATTLE HONOURS.--Peninsula, Waterloo, S. Africa 1899-1902,
    Defence of Ladysmith.

    UNIFORM.--Blue, blue bushy-bag, scarlet and white plume.



THE GRENADIER GUARDS

("THE OLD EYES")

    "Though old in glory and honour
      They have yet the vigour of youth."


High in the estimation of every son and daughter of Britain stands that
heroic band, the British Grenadiers. Their deeds have brought a fine
thrill to every heart, and a stirring song to every voice; and, though
there have been times when a pall of necessary silence, covering a
"certain liveliness," has been imposed by the fog of a world-war, we
have felt calmly assured that behind that fog our British Grenadiers
were doing, or dying, in a way that must awaken the old thrill, and
inspire a new song.

It has always been one of the greatest aids to success in battle to sum
up the daring deeds of the past; the successes against fearful odds;
the forlorn hopes bravely led; the breaches filled with our British
dead; the stubborn resistance, and sometimes complete annihilation of
one part for the success of the whole; the lofty sacrifice of the
foremost, so that the hindmost may turn the tide of battle; and the
heroic dash to certain death, which has always given birth to victory.
And this aid of tradition has been accorded by their own deeds, and by
the nation's appreciation, to none more strongly than to the British
Grenadiers.

Yet it must be remembered that the Grenadier Guards, though they share
the honour and glory of all Grenadiers, were never really Grenadiers
proper. They won the name at Waterloo, where they vanquished the French
Grenadiers. Sharing the name, they share and perpetuate the memory of
the song, which in the first place referred to the Grenadiers who threw
the grenades "from the glacis." But, as a good old British song may
gain in volume as it rolls down the years, there is no reason why the
well-known air in question should not attach to the Grenadier Guards.

Well does the historian say that "their annals indeed may almost be
said to be identical with those of the British Army, as in every
campaign of importance--every campaign which has had a material bearing
on the fortunes of the Commonwealth--their services have been called
into requisition. They have shared in our greatest battles. Their
serried ranks stood firm at Fontenoy; turned the tide of battle at
Quatre Bras; withstood unshaken the assaults of Napoleon's brilliant
chivalry at Waterloo, and ascended with stately movement the bristling
heights of the Alma."

Mr. J. J. Hart, who was with the Grenadiers in the Boer War, gives a
graphic description of the battle near Senekal:

    "With the advent of quick-firing guns," says he, "the ancient
    magnificence of armies in battle array has disappeared for ever....
    There is no shining armour; there are no waving plumes; and the
    blare of the trumpet is unheard. Watch those grey-clad figures as
    they silently scatter over the plain. They are the colour of the
    withered grass of the veldt. No two will walk together lest they
    should be a more conspicuous mark for those deadly guns. See them
    as they walk with bent heads. You might compare them to poachers or
    partridge-shooters travelling over a moor, only their advance is
    more cautious....

    "It was noon, and my battalion had halted on the plain. Far away
    for miles on our right the battle was raging, and, we with our
    grand fighting history, were left to act the inglorious part of
    lying on the grass waiting to cut off a possible retreat of the
    enemy. (Col.) Bunker stamped and swore and chewed his moustache....
    Confusion to the General who crushed the flower of the British
    infantry so; but it was orders, and soldiers must obey. The Boers,
    however, were more generous to us than the General, and, in the
    working out of a little plan of their own, they were destined to
    cover us with wounds if not with glory. While we were lying musing
    on our fate, and thinking if the news of our being left out of the
    action should ever reach London, what we might expect at the hands
    of our enemies the cabdrivers, a force of Boers, of whose presence
    on a hill about half a mile in front we were blissfully ignorant,
    were preparing to open fire on us. They began proceedings by
    killing Bunker's horse with a percussion shell, which dropped right
    under him, and blew the animal to bits. Our artillery soon limbered
    up and replied to the shot, keeping up a continuous fire for about
    an hour, when, as they were unable to silence the gun, we advanced
    to take it by assault. We moved towards the hill in short rushes,
    lying down every fifty yards to fire a volley. The Boer shells
    which exploded between our extended line did little damage, and it
    looked as if we were going to make an easy capture of the gun. If
    there were any rifles on the hill they were certainly very careful
    about reserving their fire. We had got within 500 yards of the base
    of the hill, and had risen to make another rush when the rattling
    noise of a thousand rifle bolts together came to our ears. The
    whole of the front rank went down at the first volley; evidently
    the marksmen on the hill had taken very careful aim; then there
    followed a veritable hailstorm of lead, in the face of which no man
    could advance and live. We remained lying down and firing in the
    same position for about five hours.

    "The shadows of night were falling, and still the firing was kept
    up without intermission; when a new danger was observed to threaten
    us. A shell had ignited the long grass in our rear and a light
    breeze which was blowing soon turned the spark into a
    conflagration. The Boers, observing this, extended their flanks on
    our right and left, thus completely cutting off our retreat. Then
    followed a scene of tumult which is hard to describe. Wounded men
    who were unable to move ... gazed with wild staring eyes at the
    flames, which, slowly but surely, crept towards them. Our left wing
    made one desperate rush to charge the Boers, but had to fall before
    the leaden hail. When the flames drew near many of our men made
    heroic efforts to remove our wounded through the blinding smoke and
    flame.... Others pulled their helmets over their faces and rushed
    through the fire. In all this confusion I noticed one man who
    showed rare presence of mind. He was badly wounded, and, being
    unable to get out of reach of the flames, he took some matches from
    his pocket and burnt the grass near him. He then crawled on to the
    black ground, and thus secured for himself a comparatively safe
    position when the fire approached him. The flames were now upon us,
    and fighting had ceased. Two men picked me up where I lay wounded,
    and, rushing with me through the flames, threw me down on the other
    side, and ran.... The fire burned itself out at the foot of the
    hill, and then all was darkness till the moon, shining out, showed
    us the blackened bodies of the dead, and men writhing in pain on
    the burned earth.

    "Now the Boers came amongst us, and, passing from one wounded man
    to another, gave us water from their bottles. Then we heard a
    crackling of whips and a rumbling of wheels. The Boers left us, and
    we knew the ambulance wagons were coming."

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR COLOURS, BATTLE HONOURS, ETC.

    THE KING'S COLOURS.--1st Battn., Gules (crimson): in the centre the
    Imperial Crown; in base a grenade fired proper. 2nd Battn., Gules
    (crimson): in the centre the Royal Cypher reversed and interlaced
    or, ensigned with the Imperial Crown; in base a grenade fired
    proper, in the dexter canton the Union. 3rd Battn.: as for 2nd
    Battn., and for distinction, issuing from the Union in bend dexter,
    a pile wavy or.

    REGIMENTAL COLOURS.--The Union: in the centre a company badge
    ensigned with the Imperial Crown; in base a grenade fired proper.
    The thirty company badges are borne in rotation, three at a time,
    one on the regimental colour of each of the Battns.

    BATTLE HONOURS.--Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet,
    Dettingen, Lincelles, Corunna, Barrosa, Peninsula, Waterloo, Alma,
    Inkerman, Sevastopol, Egypt 1882, Tel-el-Kebir, Suakin 1885,
    Khartoum, S. Africa 1899-1902, Modder River.

    UNIFORM.--Scarlet, blue facings.



THE COLDSTREAM GUARDS

("THE NULLI SECONDUS CLUB")

    "Sire! this regiment refuses to be known as second to any in the
    British Army."--_Monk_ (_to Charles II._)


History tells again how, in 1661, Charles, distrusting the soldiers in
his service, called the 1st Foot Guards back to England. Following upon
this, he speedily dismissed his Commonwealth soldiers, and, of all the
Puritan regiments, he retained but one--the Coldstream Guards. This was
the regiment which Monk had marched from Coldstream to the King's aid;
hence their retention. An interesting story is related about them. It
is said that when they were ordered to lay down their arms in
repudiation of the Commonwealth, and commanded to resume them again, as
the 2nd Foot Guards, they stood obstinately defiant, on the verge of
mutiny. King Charles was dumbfounded, but Monk was equal to the
situation. "Sire," he said, "this regiment refuses to be known as
second to any in the British Army." On this, Charles, who was quick to
the occasion with unworded gratitude for their timely help in a
critical situation, cried: "Coldstream Guards, take up your arms!" and
from that time forward they have been the Coldstream Guards.

Who can ever forget the glorious achievement of the Coldstream Guards
at St. Amand in 1793? As soon as the Brigade of Guards gained contact
with our then Allies-the Prussians and the Austrians--General
Knobelsdorf, of the Prussian Army, welcomed them with, "I have reserved
for the Coldstream Guards the honour, the especial glory, of dislodging
the French from their entrenchments. As British troops you have only to
show yourselves, and the enemy will retire."

The Coldstreamers rather wondered at his flowery flattery. They did
not know, and he omitted to tell them, that the honour he had
reserved for them was one which had been offered three times to
5,000 Austrians and three times missed by them, with a loss of 1,700
men. The Coldstreamers, therefore, prepared for the battle in complete
ignorance of the fact that they were expected to do, with 600 rank and
file, what 5,000 Austrians had failed to accomplish in three attempts.
Not that it would have made much difference, for the British soldier
can always count on doing the impossible about fifty times in a
century.

The Coldstreamers, ready and eager, moved to the attack, and the
Prussian General moved with them as far as safety would permit; then,
desirous apparently that they should achieve this "especial glory"
without any interference from him, he waved them on with his sword and
magnanimously galloped away.

Hell opened then on the Coldstream Guards. The wood before them spurted
flame. Batteries from right and left lumbered up, and, under cover of
the undergrowth, tore lanes through them at close range. Never, up to
that time, in the history of battles, had there been such quick and
fearful slaughter of our troops. In a few minutes two of the companies
were reduced by one-half. Ensign Howard went down with the colours, and
on every hand rank and file were blown to pieces. Sergeant-Major
Darling, one of the many heroes of that awful fight, had one arm
shattered by a cannon ball, but he fought on with the other with such
tenacity that his deeds were afterwards described as "prodigies of
valour." A French officer, seeing so many men go down before him,
pressed forward and engaged him in a fierce combat. But Darling laid
him low and continued his terrible work until another ball carried away
one of his legs. Thus, bereft of a leg and an arm, he was taken
prisoner. General Knobelsdorf, the Prussian, lived through that day,
but many, too many, of the Coldstreamers went to their last account,
fighting gloriously. You may, under some conditions, beat a
Coldstreamer, but you will never, never convince him that you have done
so.

At Inkerman the Coldstream Guards, a few hundred strong, actually stood
up to 4,000 Russians for a time, during which there was the bloodiest
struggle ever witnessed. The fight was round the Sandbag Battery, where
700 British had held their own until reinforced by the Guards, and it
was of such a nature that each guard must needs be a small battalion on
his own account to do any good at all. Back to back the Coldstreamers
fought till their ammunition was exhausted. Then they took their
muskets and clubbed the pressing hosts in such fashion that they made
space enough to form into line. Thus, with levelled steel, they
charged. The enemy was thrown into utter confusion by their terrific
onslaught, and, taking advantage of this, the Coldstreamers regained
their own lines, having inflicted tremendous loss.

And the Russian in Germany to-day knows all about it. He has not
forgotten the Coldstreamer of former days, any more than the
Coldstreamer has forgotten the glorious deeds of the Russian; and, no
doubt, if they could sit by the same camp-fire, many such a battle
story would be told, through the interpreter, of those good old days
"when we flew at each other's throats."

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR COLOURS.

    THE KING'S COLOURS.--1st Battn., Gules (crimson): in the centre the
    Star of the Order of the Garter proper, ensigned with the Imperial
    Crown; in base the Sphinx superscribed Egypt. 2nd Battn., Gules
    (crimson): in the centre a star of eight points argent within the
    garter, ensigned with the Imperial Crown; in base the Sphinx
    superscribed Egypt, in the "dexter" canton the Union. 3rd Battn.,
    as for the 1st Battn., and for difference in the dexter canton, the
    Union and issuing therefrom in bend dexter a pile wavy or.



THE ROYAL SCOTS

("PONTIUS PILATE'S BODY GUARD")

    "A volley, my lads, and then the steel!"--_Their Captain at
    Wepener._


The Royal Scots (1st Foot, or Lothian Regiment) are old in story.
Several hundreds of years before the battle of Blenheim, which is among
the first of their honours, the Royal Scots had traced their earlier
glories on the roll of fame. Few European battlefields could disclaim
acquaintance with them, and there are few on which they have not been
responsible for terrific slaughter, and a large share in the crux of
victory. Their ancestors far back fought under Gustavus Adolphus: their
lineal descendents fight now under King George; and the bridge between
that time and this has been held by them heroically.

It is interesting to trace their battles from the first. Long, long
ago, fighting for Sweden, they captured and defended Rugenwald in
Pomerania. Being wrecked on a hostile coast, with Adolphus eighty miles
away, these Scots were led by Munro, with what might seem to us an
absurd hope of victory. All day they waited in the caves by the sea
shore, starving, wet, and cold--waited for the night, so that, under
the cover of darkness, they might bring their desperate plan to
fruition. Darkness fell; the moon rose, and these hungry Scots went
forth to the attack. In one stroke they captured Rugenwald, and held it
against repeated attempts on the part of the enemy to retake it. For
nine weeks they gripped this place, and held on tooth and nail till
Hepburn's men, fighting mile after mile to their relief, came up.

Hepburn's men! They were Scots, every one of them. Men who, led by
Hepburn himself, captured Frankfort on the Oder. He took them to the
attack waist deep through the mud and water of the moat. At the great
battle of Leipzig, "the battle of the Nations," Gustavus held these men
in reserve. Then, when the issue was in danger, he flung them forward.
The musketry fire galled them severely, but through it all the pikemen
went cheering on, and put the enemy to an inglorious rout.

Later, in 1632, Hepburn, who was somewhat a soldier of fortune, found
himself on his way to aid the King of France. In 1634 he led his
regiments against the Austrians and Spaniards. Here he was joined by
Scots from France, and Scots from Sweden. Other Scots came up from the
four quarters of the compass, as if by a gathering of the clans, and
three years later there were 8,000 of them serving under the King of
France. Those 8,000 are the martial sires of the present Royal Scots.

As to the heroic achievements of the Royal Scots, we may instance the
battle of Wynendale. General Webb (Thackeray's favourite General of
"Colonel Esmond") won that battle with an army of 8,000 men against
22,000 Frenchmen. It was his work to take supplies from Ostend to
Marlborough's army in the field. Near the wood of Wynendale he detected
the preponderating force of the enemy intent on intercepting his
mission, but, in order to do this, they must traverse the wood. The
odds were nearly three to one against Webb, but, relying on his men as
much as on his own generalship, he decided to put up a fight of fights.
The way of the enemy's approach was a great glade through the wood, and
to right and left of this he placed detachments of his troops while he
stationed the main body of his army at the point where they must
debouch. Then he waited. That long wait for the oncoming host has been
much described: how for a time they gazed up the long avenue through
which the foe must come; how every man felt that tense expectancy,
which lends to the simple sounds of nature a meaning of their own, and
how 8,000 staunch hearts went back to the old folks at home with
tenderness, and possible regret, before the descent of an avalanche
which threatened to bereave their hearths.

But at length the enemy teemed in at the further end of the glade. On
they came, warily scanning the wood, but it was not till the Royal
Scots poured a volley into them that the enemy actually realized what
was happening. When the smoke cleared away, confusion reigned in their
ranks; they rallied, and came on with greater determination, but again
they were hurled into disorder and death by the British fire. Yet a
third time they attempted it, and with all the bravery of the French,
but a third time they met with that penetrating fire that none but the
British, with their ugly bulldog pertinacity, can stand. They failed to
forge their way through the storm of lead, and at last retired in
confusion, leaving one third their number of British as victors of the
field.

The Royal Scots have more than once been helped out of a difficulty by
other regiments. For instance, at Schellenberg in 1714, the ultimate
victory, after three daring attempts on the part of the Royal Scots,
who fought their way up against a heavy fire from the heights above,
was made sure by the Scots Greys, who dismounted and rushed to their
assistance. This engagement cost the French a valuable position, and 16
guns.

This help in the time of extreme peril was balanced by the Royal Scots
at the battle of Lundy's Lane, where they arrived in the nick of time
to make up 2,800 British against 5,000 Americans. After a hard fight
the enemy was driven back, but they opened again with a devastating
fire of musketry and artillery, following it up with a most determined
charge. So desperate was their onslaught that the British guns were
captured, and immediately following on this, the Royal Scots performed
a deed which is underlined in history. They recaptured those guns, and
left the enemy bewildered. This was the closest fight imaginable. In
the thick of it, the opposing cannon almost spoke into each others'
mouths. So close they were, that neither side could say, "This is my
gun." In point of fact, in the heat of the moment a British limber
carried off an American gun, and an American a British gun. On that
field the contact between British and American was extremely close. In
these days it is just as close, but not exactly in the same fierce
spirit.

One of the foremost of the exploits of the Royal Scots was the defence
of Tangier against the Moors in 1678. In Port Henrietta some 160 of the
Royal Scots had been isolated. In order to facilitate their escape
their comrades in the town created a diversion by leading a general
attack. In the midst of this the Scots got as far as the first trench
surrounding the fort, but, at the outer one, which was 12 feet deep,
they came into close grips with the enemy. There it was sheer
knife-fighting, and many Royal Scots went to the bottom of the pit. One
hundred and twenty of them filled it full, and over that bridge of
silence forty survivors hewed their way through.

The last charge at Wepener is described in the History of the Boer War
as follows "The Royal Scots saw the Boers rushing and their warrior
hearts beat quick with joy. Shortly, like a man in a dream, their
Captain gave the word, 'Fix bayonets!' It was done in a trice. 'Ready!'
The men loaded their rifles. 'A volley, my lads, and then the steel!
Altogether--' The whistle blows, the flame flies along the parapet.
Then, over the stone wall, sprang the Royal Scots. Once they shouted,
once only. Then the slaying began.... Fifty thousand savage throats
swelled the battle chorus. Ever since the siege began the black
warriors had been gathered in their thousands on the heights, watching
with fascinated interest the struggle of the white men. Like the
spectators of a medieval tournament they had applauded the gallant
deeds of the combatants, and, as they saw the British soldiers holding
out day after day, night after night, against the assault of numerous
odds, they came to have a profound trust and confidence in the 'big
heart' of the Queen's soldiers. When, therefore, they saw the Royal
Scots launch themselves like a living bolt at five times their number,
they held their breath for a time, wondering what the end might be. But
when they saw the bloody bayonets of the 1st Foot scatter and utterly
destroy the hated Dutchman they opened their throats and yelled their
applause across the river."

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR BADGES, BATTLE HONOURS, ETC.

    BADGES.--The Royal Cypher within the Collar of the Order of the
    Thistle with the Badge appendant. In each of the four corners the
    Thistle within the Circle and motto of the Order, ensigned with the
    Imperial Crown.

    BATTLE HONOURS.--The Sphinx, superscribed Egypt. Blenheim,
    Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, Louisburg, St. Lucia,
    Egmont-op-Zee, Corunna, Busaco, Salamanca, Vittoria, St. Sebastian,
    Nive, Peninsula, Niagara, Waterloo, Nagpore, Maheidpore, Ava, Alma,
    Inkerman, Sevastopol, Taku Forts, Pekin, S. Africa 1889-1902.

    UNIFORM.--Regular and Reserve Battns., scarlet with blue facings.

    [This distinguished corps is the oldest regiment in the Army, hence
    its nickname of Pontius Pilate's Body Guard. There is a tradition
    that it represents the body of Scottish Archers who for centuries
    formed the guard of the French kings. It fought under Gustavus
    Adolphus, King of Sweden, in the Seven Years' War, and was
    incorporated in the British Army in 1633. Since that date it has
    seen service in every part of the globe.]



THE "FIGHTING FIFTH"

("THE SHINERS")


The "Fighting Fifth" (Northumberland Fusiliers) have a peculiar paradox
in their history. They were first raised in 1674 by Prince William of
Orange, the Dutchman, and, in the last Boer War, they were fighting
against the Dutch themselves. But even stranger things than that have
come to pass in these later days when we have good cause to call our
old allies our enemies, and our old enemies our allies.

The "Fighting Fifth" derived their regimental name, the Northumberland
Fusiliers, from Hugh, Earl Percy, afterwards Duke of Northumberland,
who commanded the regiment during the American War of Independence. For
their fighting in the seventeenth century Prince William assembled them
before the whole army, and publicly rewarded them for their services.
It must be remembered that there were still services to come, for, when
the Prince returned to England, fourteen years later, to deprive his
father-in-law of his throne, the "Fighting Fifth" had not forgotten his
kind offices. On this occasion they were regarded by the English with
pride and admiration. "Even the peasants," says Macaulay, "whispered to
one another as they marched by: 'There be our own lads; there be the
brave fellows who hurled back the French on the field of Seneffe!'"

The "Fighting Fifth" gained many laurels in Portugal and Spain, where,
on more than one occasion, they drove the enemy before them in utter
confusion. It is in this war that their fighting traditions are chiefly
founded.

At Ciudad Rodrigo it was the "Fighting Fifth" who stormed the approach.
Afterwards they fought their way with fusil and steel through
Salamanca, Nivelle, Vittoria, Orthes, and Toulouse, right up to Paris.

One of their greatest achievements was the successful defence of
Gibraltar, when the Spaniards made their first attempt to recover it.
Since that time there is scarce a page of fighting history up to the
time of the Napoleonic Wars that contains no deed of this bull-dog
regiment.

Their nickname is almost as old as their regiment. It was at the siege
of Maestricht in 1676, when the regiment was only two years old, that a
section of these men, only 200 strong, assaulted the Dauphin
bastion--an affair out of which, after the most sanguinary combat, no
more than fifty emerged. Yet maddened, rather than daunted, these
fifty, with some few reinforcements, made a further attack on the
bastion; and this time they took it, but only to meet with disaster.
The place was mined, and a terrible explosion killed a large number,
and covered others in wreckage. Many, however, emerged, and these
proceeded to hold the position.

The tale of how they entered Badajoz stirs the blood. The 2nd Battalion
led the storming party. Their way led over a narrow bridge. Here, under
a terrible fire, the foremost fell in heaps; but their comrades pressed
forward over their prostrate bodies, and planted ladders against the
beetling walls of the castle. For a time the "Fighting Fifth" suffered
heavily. Again and again the desperate attackers reached the summit of
the walls, only to be hurled back by the enemy. Here they swarmed up
like bees, to be swept down again by a raking fire; there, another
ladder broken, another overturned, with men everywhere falling and
climbing, climbing and falling. The chance of scaling those walls
seemed hopeless, and at length the Fifth paused, and looked at one
another. Then, at that psychological moment, the cheering of the enemy
above broke the spell. Their cheers were answered by a fierce shout
from our men, who rushed to the attack with a never-give-in
determination that finally gained the ramparts, and drove the garrison
out of the castle, out of the town, and into the distance, not without
great slaughter. It was at Badajoz that the Fifth lost their brave
colonel, who struck in at that psychological moment, and led the final
victorious onslaught. He fell, shot through the heart, at the very
moment that victory was assured. "None that night," says Napier, "died
with more glory; yet many died, and there was much glory." The taking
of Badajoz was indeed a piece of work which required all the dogged
tenacity of purpose to be found in such fearless heroes as the
"Fighting Fifth."

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR BADGES AND BATTLE HONOURS, ETC.

    BADGES.--St. George and the Dragon. In each of the four corners the
    united Red and White Rose slipped, ensigned with the Royal Crest.

    MOTTO.--"Quo fata vocant."

    BATTLE HONOURS.--Wilhelmsthal, Roleia, Vimiera, Corunna, Busaco,
    Cuidad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Vittoria, Nivelle, Orthes,
    Toulouse, Peninsula, Lucknow, Afghanistan 1878-80, Khartoum, S.
    Africa 1899-1902, Modder River.

    UNIFORM.--Regular and Reserve Battns., scarlet with gosling-green
    facings.



THE LIVERPOOL REGIMENT

("THE LEATHER HATS")


The Liverpool Regiment, like the 5th Dragoon Guards, was raised to help
James, and, like them, it sided with the right against him. When James
tried to place Roman Catholic officers over English regiments, with the
help of the Liverpool Regiment, the colonel and five officers strongly
objected. James sent his son, Fitzjames, Duke of Berwick, to
Portsmouth, to correct them; but on this, and the issue of it, the
country rose, saying unanimously that James was wrong, and the "six
Portsmouth captains" were right. James had to flee from a country which
entertained ideas so strange to his way of thinking. In memory of this
protest against oppression, the portraits of those "six Portsmouth
captains" are preserved to this day by the regiment. Once having
definitely seceded, the Liverpool Regiment went further in the defence
of liberty, and fought fiercely at the Boyne.

But it was in the Netherlands that the "Leather Hats" performed their
first great feat of valour. Lord Cutts, whom they dubbed "The
Salamander"--because, where the fire was hottest, there was Cutts to be
found--ordered them, against all sane strategy, to storm the fortress
of Venloo. Everyone said it was impossible to take it, but the
Liverpool Regiment, who were actually facing the matter, got a
different view into their heads. They said nothing, but obeyed
commands--and took it. "Over bastion, fausse, bray and raveline," says
a graphic chronicler, "over trench, glacis and escarpment, Cutts led
his dare-devils; the ditches were heaped with the dead, till the living
walked over them, and--the enemy ran upon the farther side." It was a
magnificent feat of arms, and a fitting preface to Blenheim, Dettingen,
Lucknow, and their glorious deeds at the front to-day.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR BADGES AND BATTLE HONOURS, ETC.

    BADGE.--The White Horse within the Garter. In each of the four
    corners the Royal Cypher.

    MOTTO.--"Nec aspera terrent."

    BATTLE HONOURS.--The Sphinx, superscribed Egypt. Blenheim,
    Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, Dettingen, Martinique, Niagara,
    Delhi, Lucknow, Peiwar Kotal, Afghanistan 1878-80, Burma 1885-87,
    S. Africa 1899-1902, Defence of Ladysmith.

    UNIFORM.--Regular and Reserve Battns., scarlet with blue facings.



THE NORFOLKS

("THE HOLY BOYS")

    "Our country will, I believe, sooner forgive an officer for
    attacking his enemy, than for omitting to do it....

    "A Norfolk man is as good as two others."--_Nelson._


Of the Norfolk Regiment, then known as the 9th (East Norfolk) Regiment,
Napier said, with a happy mixture of blame and praise: "They were
guilty of a fierce neglect of orders in taking a path leading
immediately to the enemy." Indeed, that is exactly what they did at the
battle of Roliça on the 17th August, 1808. Their intrepidity and fine
carelessness in regard to their lives were on that day the subject of
unstinted praise on the part of the whole French army, who, in those
times it must be remembered, were our enemies. A brief description of
the battle will show the stern stuff that the Norfolks are made of.

The enemy, under Laborde, held a very strong position, and it was
Wellington's object to drive them from it at the earliest opportunity.
The Norfolks, under Brigadier Nightingale, came up with Wellington's
army from Obidos, three columns strong. The 9th occupied the position
in the centre, which fronted the enemy in possession of a natural
fortress of gigantic crags, looming steep and forbidding against the
sky. The only way of ascent was by means of some zigzag tracks, which,
at many points, were open to the enemy's fire.

Under these conditions, it would have been possible for our men to
proceed by halt and rush, with a slow but sure caution; but the
Norfolks, flinging all caution to the winds, hurled themselves forward
to get at the enemy as quickly as possible. They swarmed up the
heights, giving the foe a hot example of their musketry fire as they
swung forward. It is said that their exploit was in full view of both
armies as the smoke of their firing marked their passage from crag to
crag. The rapidity of their advance was so great that the other
regiments of the central column were left far behind. Laborde, taking
advantage of their prominent position, proceeded to throw the greater
part of his army against them, thinking to wipe them out before they
could receive support. This was partially successful, for the enemy's
fierce onslaught bore the 2nd battalion back. Fiercely; the Norfolks
contested every inch of the way, and it was a wonder of wonders that
they lost so little ground against overwhelming odds before the 1st
battalion came to their assistance. Then, with scarce a breathing
space, they re-formed their ranks, and, with a hearty British cheer,
swept forward and upward again.

That heroic and dashing encounter, in which the battle was to the
swift--for it will be remembered that they had outstripped the rest of
the army--is one that can never be forgotten in the annals of our
history. Slowly, point by point, they gained the advantage, and finally
drove the enemy from the summit. But, having taken the position, they
had to hold it again and again against the furious efforts of the enemy
to dislodge them. The reckless dash of their ascent could only be
equalled by the stubborn resistance with which they held on, and, time
after time, Laborde's battalions were driven back. Finally, the
Northumberland Fusiliers came to their assistance, and the enemy was
forced to retire. This was a victory set upon a hill, and, in the same
spirit in which it was witnessed that day by thousands of opposing
forces, so it is for ever pictured in our minds. With the battle of
Roliça in their traditions, the Norfolk Regiment, as we write, are no
doubt adding to the list of their brilliant achievements.

In this battle a memorable act of heroism glorifies a page of
history--a page written in the Norfolk blood of Sergeant-Major
Richards. At the time when our skirmishers advanced rapidly, and the
echo of their quick musketry fire hung reverberating in the ravine and
hollow as they ran from cover to cover, two companies crept up two
separate passes among the rocks and debouched upon the summit of the
ridge. The foremost of the 9th, on emerging two or three at a time from
their narrow passage, were ambushed by the enemy. Blake, their brave
Colonel, was killed, and many of his men fell around him. When the
ambuscade rushed forth to grips, Sergeant-Major Richards, though
riddled with lead, and bleeding from a dozen bayonet wounds, stood over
his beloved commander and fought to the death. This brave fellow, than
whom there was never a braver, said, as he was dying, "I should not
have cared so much if only our Colonel had been spared." In those few
words, at such a moment, breathed the true spirit of the Norfolks, and
that glorious simplicity of thought and singleness of eye--fine, grand,
unconsciously sublime--runs through every line of our great Book of
Battles. We are not glad that our enemy of to-day has not written such
a book, nor do we trouble to wish he had: the fact is fixed that he has
not. Indeed, he had never the material for such a book, for it is
obvious that the same barbarous hand that struck out an innocent
Louvain could not insert such an anachronism as the heroic death and
noble sentiment of a Sergeant-Major Richards of the Norfolks.

But Roliça, although the most prominent of their honours, is only one
among many that have been set to their credit. They have more than once
been in a position of extreme peril. When Ruffin's brigade at Barrosa
realised that the Norfolks were cut off through an error on the part of
our Spanish Allies, they turned the whole fury of their overwhelming
odds upon that single regiment. Then it was a case of fighting, and
dying, back to back. All fought like heroes, and, like heroes, most of
them died. It was only when Brigadier Dilkes came to their assistance
that the few survivors were extricated from their hazardous position.
Needless to say, the handful that remained joined at once with Dilkes'
column, and assaulted the enemy's heights. A grim battle ensued, and at
length a brilliant victory was gained.

In the history of the Norfolks is written one of the saddest incidents
in the annals of our arms. It was they who, at Corunna, at dead of
night, buried Sir John Moore, under the shadow of disaster--a sorrowful
ending to an adverse passage which, although it concealed a marvellous
achievement, few of us care to linger upon in days when victory is
before us, and all thoughts of defeat forgotten.

At Fuentes d'Onoro, a description of which battle will be found in
another chapter, the Norfolks, in company with many other regiments of
our present expeditionary force, fought with all their customary vim;
and at Salamanca their assault on the enemy was as if they had been let
go from a catapult. At a time when they were fully 500 yards in front
of our main body of troops, Wellington saw the chance of making use of
them to capture a particular post held by the enemy. He sent his
aide-de-camp scouring up to them with the hurried message: "Ninth! you
are the only regiment ready; advance!" They required no further
indication to grasp what was to be done; in fact, they would probably
have done it in the natural course of events, without the order; they
charged on, and at the point of the irresistible bayonet the post was
taken.

Many a forlorn hope has been led by the Norfolks. One that remains
indelibly stamped on our memory is that at San Sebastian, headed by a
Scots lad, named Campbell. This poor fellow was terribly wounded in the
first onslaught, receiving a bayonet thrust, and a heavy sabre gash.
The young hero was not to die of his wounds however. Very much on the
contrary, he lived to become Sir Colin Campbell, Commander-in-Chief in
India; and, for his splendid services in suppressing the Indian Mutiny
was created Baron Clyde.

Having come through many terrible fights with honour and glory, and
without a stain, it is naturally the great regret of this famous
regiment that they were not at present at Waterloo. But, though absent
from our greatest field of victory, they were doing good work at the
time in Canada. Yet it has come to their share in these days to reap
honours in fields not far from Waterloo, and we live to learn that, in
the deeds of to-day, and to-morrow, a Norfolk man is indeed as good as
at least two Germans.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR BADGE AND BATTLE HONOURS, ETC.

    BADGE.--The figure of Britannia.

    BATTLE HONOURS.--Roliça, Vimiera, Corunna, Busaco, Salamanca,
    Vittoria, St. Sebastian, Nive, Peninsula, Cabool 1842, Moodkee,
    Ferozeshah, Sobraon, Sevastopol, Kabul 1879, Afghanistan 1870-80,
    S. Africa 1900-02, Paardeberg.

    HEROES OF PERTHSHIRE--Regular and Reserve Battns., scarlet with
    yellow facings.

    [Raised in 1685. Received the title "East Norfolk Regiment" in
    1782, and became the Norfolk Regiment in 1881. The badge of the
    figure of Britannia was bestowed on the regiment in recognition of
    its gallantry at the battle of Almanza (1707). This regiment was
    the last of the British forces to embark at Corunna (1809), and was
    entrusted with the burial of Sir John Moore, in memory of which
    event the officers of the regiment wear a black line in their lace.]



THE BLACK WATCH (ROYAL HIGHLANDERS)

("HEROES OF PERTHSHIRE")

    "We are but few, but of the right sort."--_Nelson._

    "Highlanders, remember Egypt!"--_Sir John Moore at Corunna._


These men need a book to themselves. It is impossible here to give more
than a short account of one or two of their most brilliant fights, but,
as from the peck you may judge of the barrel, so one will find the
invincible temper of the Black Watch in every line and every word.

It was at Fontenoy that the Black Watch first met a foreign foe, and
their dealings with that foe were an emphatic earnest of their future
honours. The fortune of war was not on their side; they were forced to
retreat, covering it in such perfect order that Lord Crawford waved his
hat to them, with the well-remembered approval that they had achieved
as great honour as if they had gained an actual victory.

The Black Watch have acquired great reputation in America. They
distinguished themselves notably at Bushey Run, and it was in the War
of Independence that they contributed their severest and most difficult
work. A chronicler of the doings of this regiment writes on this
passage in their history: "In every field the Black Watch maintained
their hardly earned reputation," and many are the recorded deeds of
individual courage and readiness. Here is one instance by the same
chronicler:

    "In a skirmish with the Americans in 1776, Major Murray, of the
    42nd, being separated from his men, was attacked by three of the
    enemy. His dirk slipped behind his back, and, being a big stout
    man, he could not reach it, but defended himself as well as he
    could with his fusil, and, watching his opportunity, seized the
    sword of one of his assailants, and put the three to flight."

The battle of Alexandria was perhaps one of the most brilliant in the
whole career of the Black Watch. At a time when the two wings of their
regiment stood some 200 yards apart, the Invincibles of France, valiant
fighters, forced their way between, with one six-pounder. As soon as
the Highlanders found that they had been, in a sense, caught napping, a
roar of wrath rose from their ranks, and swiftly their right wing swung
down on the interloping French, broke their ranks and captured their
gun. The left wing, facing the other way, wheeled swiftly, and fell
like mountain cats on the French rear. The enemy, who had thought to
split the 42nd to some purpose, were thus themselves caught in a death
trap. The Invincibles rushed helter-skelter for cover in the ruins near
by, and after them, terrible in pursuit, went the Black Watch. The
plaided ranks drew together, and charged again and again with fixed
bayonets, while the pursued fled before those gleaming points until
they were brought to bay in a position where they were forced to turn
and fight. It was a brave and memorable fight then on both sides. The
courage of despair was on the enemy's side, and the cool, relentless
courage of the Caledonians was on ours. But in the end the enemy,
having lost 700 of their men, were forced to yield.

This temporary victory, however, afforded no respite for the Black
Watch. Hot upon the action came a strong column of French infantry
swiftly advancing, and it was a matter of the utmost importance that
they should be attacked at once. The Black Watch, dishevelled as they
were, their great chests still heaving with their exertions, were flung
forward by Sir Ralph Abercromby, who, in the urgency of the critical
moment, himself hallooed them on.

It was a quick passage. After a clashing impact, the Black Watch broke
the French column and scattered it in flight. Seeing the Highlanders
eagerly pursuing, and in danger of being cut off by three squadrons of
cavalry, General Moore ordered the pursuers to retire. It appears that,
in the crash and roar of the battle, this order was lost upon the
foremost pursuers, who were dealing death right and left, and they were
not aware of what threatened until the French cavalry was thundering
down upon them. It was so sudden that the Highlanders had barely time
to retrieve their scattered state, and rally back to back. Thus,
raising their fierce northern battle-cry, they fought against fearful
odds, a small body of men surrounded on every hand. But even from this
they emerged victorious, routing the very flower of the French cavalry.
So it was that in one day this regiment won three brilliant victories,
each one of which had seemed at first almost a forlorn hope.

It must be remembered that the Royal Highlander has always been a
perfect swordsman, terrible with his rifle, and deadly with his pistol.
His strength is renowned in history. There have been men among them who
have claimed no great superiority over their fellows from the fact of
being able to twist a horseshoe, or drive a skeandhu up to the hilt in
a pine log. Fatigue, hunger, thirst, the extremes of heat and cold--all
these are with those men the mere commonplace foes of a Spartan
existence--foes which have always found and left them silent, patiently
contemptuous, where foes of flesh and blood would at once arouse them
to anger of the grimmest kind.

Perhaps no part of the world has seen the Black Watch in as true a
light as the Peninsula. From all quarters of it their honours are
drawn. They were with Moore at Corunna on that memorable occasion, when
on a sudden he cried out to them: "Highlanders, remember Egypt!"

With reference to this speech, and the moment it was delivered,
tradition has clothed it with romance. At many a Highland fireside,
when the eerie spirit sits in the glen and whispers round the lonely
sheilings, it has been said by aged warriors, who had lived on in peace
perhaps into the sixties, that, at those words, the men around him, who
loved him best, saw, with the uncanny second sight of their race, a
misty shimmering shroud enclosing their commander's form, portentous of
his coming death.

The words "Highlanders, remember Egypt!" referred to the occasion when,
at Alexandria, Sir Ralph Abercromby being taken prisoner, and his
captor being shot by a Royal Highlander, the regiment, though broken,
continued to fight individually. It is no wonder that Sir John Moore,
who had marvelled at their prowess, should exhort them, eight years
later, at Corunna, to remember Egypt.

At Toulouse, Pack, as he galloped swiftly up with General Clinton's
orders, drew rein in silence before the Black Watch. Then he spoke
calmly, but with elation: "General Clinton has been pleased to grant my
request that the 42nd shall have the honour of leading the attack. The
42nd will advance!" There were 500 who went in, and there were about
ninety who came out alive. One can imagine then their terrible passage
up to the fatal redoubt, and all the more clearly may be pictured the
determination of it from the fact that, when they reached it, the enemy
had fled.

When they were before the heights of Alma, Sir Colin Campbell turned to
them, and cried: "Men, the army is watching us. Make me proud of my
Highland brigade!" From the future, near and far, the whole wide world
watches them, and a great Empire has been made proud of them. Kinglake
tells this part of the story with a fine touch. "Smoothly, easily, and
swiftly," he says, "the Black Watch seemed to glide up the hill. A few
instants before, and their tartans ranged dark in the valley; now their
plumes waved on the crest." The enemy did not stay for the coming
onslaught, for, as many said afterwards, they "did not like those men
in the petticoats, with their red vulture plumes and their coloured
tartans."

At Ticonderoga, in 1758, they suffered heavily, in blood, though not in
honour. Of that encounter an officer of the 55th, who was in the
engagement, says: "It is with a mixture of esteem, grief, and envy,
that I considered the great loss and immortal glory won by the Scots
Highlanders in the late bloody affair." From all historical accounts it
seems that the enemy was very strongly entrenched, in front by ditches,
and on the battle side by barricades of felled trees. From this cover
they sent volley upon volley into the ranks of the advancing
Highlanders. "Yet," says one chronicler:

    "The Scots hewed their way through the obstacles with their
    broadswords, and--no ladders having been provided--made strenuous
    efforts to carry the breastwork, partly by mounting on each other's
    shoulders, and partly by placing their feet in holes which they dug
    with their swords and bayonets in the face of the works. After a
    desperate struggle, which lasted nearly four hours, General
    Abercromby, seeing no possible chance of success, ordered a
    retreat--an order which had to be _thrice repeated_ before the
    Highlanders would withdraw from the unequal contest!"

What the Black Watch would have done at Balaclava and Inkerman, had
they been there, can be conjectured, but, sufficient to say that
Sevastopol bears witness to their many deeds of outright bravery.

The officers of the Black Watch have always been, needless to say, the
soul of honour of the body of their men. In the following letter--a
letter which might form part of a great poem--Colonel Macleod writes to
the Sultan Tippoo:

    "You, or your interpreter have said in your letter to me that I
    have lied, or made a _mensonge_. Permit me to inform you, Prince,
    that this thing is not good for you to give, or for me to receive,
    and if I were alone with you in the desert, you would not dare to
    say these words to me. An Englishman scorns to lie; this is an
    irreparable affront to an English warrior. If you have courage
    enough to meet me, take 100 of your _bravest_ men on foot; meet me
    on the sea shore; I will fight you, and 100 men of mine will fight
    yours."

This has the true epic ring of all time, even back to the state and
condition of the heroic savage who, instinct with honour, said:
"Friend, if I had an axe, and thou hadst an axe, then we should see
where the truth stands." But, alas! in some parts of the world where
savagery is no longer heroic, the days of the true epic have gone by,
its local death warrant being writ upon a "scrap of paper" crumpled in
an Emperor's hand.

But the Black Watch, though it has fed, as it were, upon the hearts of
lions in its immortal traditions of the far past, can live more
intimately in the atmosphere of recent glories. Evan McGregor, Robert
Dick, Stewart of Garth, Gordon Drummond, Hope Grant--these are immortal
names appended to half its story only. Its later history is lit by the
fame of the Eighth Earl of Airlie, who was killed at Diamond Hill in
1900. When he sailed from our shores for South Africa, almost his last
words were: "Remember, if I am killed in action, whatever memorial you
put for me, that you say on it I had died as I wished." And, in
confirmation of this, after Magersfontein: "I like the Boers, and am
very proud to be fighting against them.... I am very happy." A
sentiment which we, in later years, can parallel with the fact that
Botha's son (aged seventeen years) has enlisted to fight for Britain--a
step approved by his heroic father.

It was the old 73rd (now the 2nd Battalion Black Watch) which, under
General Wauchope, their former colonel, fought so heroically in the
Boer War, losing their brave commander at Magersfontein. The 73rd was,
from 1809 to 1881, an ordinary line regiment, the Scottish dress and
kilt having been abandoned. As such it fought at Waterloo, which, among
others, it gives as an "honour" to the Black Watch. In 1881 it was made
the 2nd Battalion Black Watch, and resumed the doublet, kilt and
feather bonnet.

The spirit of the Earl of Airlie is alive to-day--as much alive as it
was in Scotland, when the "Heroes of Perthshire" laid their lives at
the feet of him they believed to be their rightful king. Then, as
since, they lived and died fighting; and, out of their brave deeds from
that to this, there has arisen the peculiar significance of those three
words--thrilling and dear to British hearts, chilling and terrible to
Britain's foes--THE BLACK WATCH.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR BADGES AND BATTLE HONOURS, ETC.

    BADGES.--The Royal Cypher within the Garter. The badge and motto of
    the Order of the Thistle. In each of the four corners the Royal
    Cypher, ensigned with the Royal Crown.

    BATTLE HONOURS.--The Sphinx, superscribed Egypt. Mysore, Mangalore,
    Seringapatam, Corunna, Fuentes d'Onoro, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive,
    Orthes, Toulouse, Peninsula, Waterloo, S. Africa 1846-47, 1851-53,
    Alma, Sevastopol, Lucknow, Ashantee, Egypt 1882-84, Tel-el-Kebir,
    Nile 1884-85, Kirbekan, S. Africa 1899-1902, Paardeberg.

    UNIFORM.--Regular and Reserve Batts., scarlet and blue facings.

    [The 1st Battn. was first formed from the independent companies
    raised in 1729 from the Highland clans, and received the name of
    Black Watch from the hue of its tartan. The newly-formed regiment
    greatly distinguished itself at Fontenoy and against the French in
    N. America. At Ticonderoga it lost 25 officers, 19 sergeants, and
    603 rank and file in killed and wounded, and received the title of
    Royal Highlanders in recognition of its bravery. The 2nd Battn.,
    raised in 1780, became a separate regiment in 1786, and it was this
    Battn. a detachment of which was in the wreck of the _Birkenhead_.
    The Black Watch gained the red hackle during the campaign in
    Flanders (1794-95). The 42nd was one of the four regiments
    mentioned in dispatches after Waterloo. The 2nd Battn. was at
    Magersfontein in 1899, where it lost 19 officers and over 300
    killed and wounded. This regiment has a record which is only
    equalled by one or two regiments in the British Army.]



THE MANCHESTER REGIMENT

("THE BLOODSUCKERS")

    "Shew me a well authenticated instance of the troops of any other
    nation gaining and holding an 'impossible' position against fearful
    odds, and I will shew you a wavering in, or, at least, a
    qualification of, our national faith that our allied British
    infantry is the best in the world."--_French Daily Newspaper,
    August, 1914._


It was at Elandslaagte that the 1st Battalion of this gallant regiment,
together with the Gordon Highlanders and the Light Horse, distinguished
themselves in a terrible passage of arms. The following graphic account
is taken down from the words of a soldier who went through that
terrible affair:

    "It was nearly five o'clock on that day," he said, "when it seemed
    to be growing curiously dark. And we soon saw the reason. As our
    men moved forward the heavens opened, and from the eastern sky
    swept a sheet of rain. With the first stabbing drops the horses
    turned their heads, and no whip or spur could bring them up to it.
    It drove through our mackintoshes as if they were blotting-paper;
    the air was filled with a hissing sound, and underfoot you could
    see the solid earth pounded into mud, and the mud flowing away in
    streams of slush. The rain blotted out hill and dale and enemy in
    one great curtain of swooping water. You would have said that the
    heavens had opened to drown the wrath of man.

    "Through it the guns still thundered, and the khaki column pushed
    doggedly on. The infantry got among the boulders and began to open
    out. The supports and reserves followed. Then, in a twinkling, on
    the stone-pitted hill-face, burst loose another storm--a storm of
    lead and death. In the first line, down behind the rocks, the men
    were firing fast, and the bullets came pelting round them. The men
    stooped, and staggered, and dropped limply, as if a string that
    held them upright had been cut. The line pushed on, and the colonel
    fell, shot in the arm.

    "The regiment pursued their way until they came to a rocky ledge
    twenty feet high. Here they clung to cover, firing, then rose, and
    were among the shrill bullets again. A major was left at the bottom
    of the ridge with a pipe in his mouth, and a Mauser bullet through
    his leg. His company rushed on. Onwards and upwards--down, fire
    again--up again, and on. Another ridge won and passed, and only one
    more hellish hail of bullets beyond. More men down. More men
    hurried forward into the firing line--more death-piping bullets
    than ever. The air was a sieve of them; they came with unceasing
    ping, and beat on the boulders like a million hammers; they
    ploughed the rocks and tore the turf like harrows. Another ridge
    crowned, another whistling gust of perdition. More men down; more
    men pushing into the firing line. Half the officers killed or
    wounded--the men panted and stumbled on--another ridge taken! God!
    would this cursed hill never end? It was sown with bleeding and
    dead behind us; it was edged with stinging fire before. 'Fix
    bayonets!' Staff officers rushed up, urging the men on. There was
    now no line, only a surging wave. Devonshires, Gordon Highlanders,
    Manchester, and Light Horse all mixed--subalterns commanding
    regiments, soldiers yelling advice, officers firing carbines--all
    stumbling, leaping, killing, falling--all drunk with battle. At
    length we gained the ridge, and saw the Boer camp below. The Boers
    were galloping out of it helter skelter, with Lancers and Dragoon
    Guards spearing and stamping them into the ground. Suddenly we
    heard the bugle call 'Cease fire!' and, wondering slightly at such
    an order at such a time, we began to retire. But we were soon met
    by a boy bugler rushing forward, who, in reply to our remarks about
    the order, yelled, 'Cease fire be damned!' And then we discovered
    that the Boers, who had learnt our bugle calls, had blown the
    blast. On this, we turned about, charged again, and so made good
    the battle of Elandslaagte."

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR BADGE AND BATTLE HONOURS, ETC.

    BADGE.--The Sphinx, superscribed Egypt.

    BATTLE HONOURS.--Egmont-op-Zee, Martinique, Guadaloupe, Peninsula,
    Alma, Inkerman, Sevastopol, New Zealand, Afghanistan 1879-80, Egypt
    1882, S. Africa 1899-1902, Defence of Ladysmith.

    UNIFORM.--Regular and Reserve Battn., scarlet with white facings.

    [1st Battn. raised in 1685, 2nd Battn. in 1801. The 1st Battn. was
    formerly a Battn. of the 8th Foot, and became the 63rd Regiment in
    1758. It served as Mounted Infantry during the war of American
    Independence, and won great distinction. The 2nd Battn. was
    formerly the Minorca Regiment, and became part of the line in 1804
    as the 97th (Queen's German) Regiment. In 1816 it became the 96th
    (Queen's Own), and was disbanded in 1818. Raised again in 1824. The
    1st Battn. displayed great courage and steadiness during the Siege
    of Ladysmith (1899).]



THE GORDON HIGHLANDERS

("SCOTLAND FOR EVER")

    "You have saved the day, Highlanders, but you must return to your
    position. There is more work to be done."--_Sir Denis Pack at
    Waterloo._


Sir Denis Pack's words at Waterloo are as true to-day as they were
then. The Gordons have always saved the day, and now they must return
to their position. There is more work to be done and the Gordons are
there to do it, as before.

The following is an extract from a letter to Sir Walter Scott from
Viscount Vanderfosse, first Advocate of the Superior Court of Justice
of Brussels, dated January 5th, 1816:

    "Since the arrival of the British troops on the Continent, their
    discipline was remarked by all those who had any communication with
    them. Among these respectable warriors the Scotch deserve to be
    particularly commemorated, and this honourable mention is due to
    their discipline, their patience, their humanity, and their bravery
    almost without example. Constant and unheard of proofs were given
    of devotion to their country quite extraordinary and sublime; nor
    must we forget that these men, so terrible in the field of battle,
    were mild and tranquil out of it."

Such a testimonial from so high an authority is a treasured document in
the hands of the Gordons, and many are the accounts received to-day
from the front, which go to show that their cheery optimism has not
been dimmed by the passage of a century.

Perhaps there is no regiment that blends so nicely the simple humour
characteristic of the Scot with the grim determination in which no
section of our army is wanting. There are many points which soften to
our hearts the fierce homicidal glory of the Gordon Highlanders. But
first in importance is their grim and terrible side.

On the eventful night of the Duchess of Richmond's ball on the eve of
Waterloo, Colonel Cameron, and some of the N.C. officers of the Gordon
Highlanders, had been invited to give the guests of different nations
there assembled a display of the Highland dances. Poets have sung the
sudden call to arms at the "Cannon's opening roar," but it was not
until daybreak that the Gordons marched off through the Namur Gate
towards the scene of action.

On this occasion their panoply of war set everyone a-thrill. With their
dark plumes waving in the breeze, and the bright sun shining on their
polished accoutrements, they marched to the screel of the bagpipes.
Never had the spectators beheld a prouder, braver, more athletic body
of men; there was not a downcast look among them; only the fearless
eye, the undaunted mien, the cheerful bearing-things which tell of
strength.

In this mood they marched as far as the forest of Soignies, near
Waterloo. Thence, as the day advanced, they proceeded towards Quatre
Bras. The heat was intense, the dust suffocating, but, after a
wearisome march, they reached Genappe, where the people were waiting
for the thirsty regiment with large tubs of water, and of milk, from
which the Highlanders dipped and drank as they passed through the town.
Hard on this refreshment, as they came into the plain beyond, was a
further refreshment to the warlike spirit of the Highlanders; it was
the sound of cannon that fell upon their ears "nearer, clearer than
before." There was a general quickening of pace as the excitement of
promised action ran quickly through the ranks, but Colonel Cameron
checked their eagerness, and held them back, though with difficulty.

It so chanced, by good luck, or good management, that the Gordons
arrived at Quatre Bras just at the very moment they were needed.
Wellington had come in with full information from Blücher as to the
position of the Prussian army, and a fuller scorn of their tactics in
selecting that position--a scorn which was justified by the event. "If
they fight here," he said, in his terse and forcible way, "they will be
damnably mauled." The Duke was a true prophet. They were, in two words,
"mauled."

The enemy's action began with a fierce cannonade, under cover of which
a brigade of infantry and lancers were hurled forward, Our Belgian-Dutch
allies fell back, and their retreat was converted into a rout by the
enemy, who speedily became masters of the situation. Things were
critical, but, at that moment, in came the Gordon Highlanders by the
Namur road. Their march broke into a double, and their ranks opened and
overflowed each side of the road, deploying for immediate action. At
once came an answer from a battery of the enemy perched on one of the
surrounding heights. By this time the Duke was amongst the Highlanders,
giving orders to seek cover in the ditches and behind the banks of the
road; he and his staff following their example. They had not long to
wait, under a terrible fire, before the French cuirassiers came
sweeping through the fields towards them. On they came, with furious
cries, a formidable body; but the Highlanders under command of the
Duke, waited in grim silence, reserving their fire. "Highlanders!" the
Duke cried, "don't fight until I tell you," and so the Gordons lay,
ready for the signal. It came when the charging cuirassiers were within
thirty yards of them. Then a fierce volley rang out, and havoc lighted
on the horsemen. Horses and steel-clad riders went down pell mell, and,
in the confusion, the survivors turned and fled before the coming
steel. Many, whose horses were shot beneath them, attempted to cope
with the Scots, but all their valour was as nothing before the bayonets
of the Gordons.

At another stage of the battle, when the Duke of Brunswick's hussars
were in flight before the red (Polish) lancers and French light
infantry, Wellington, involved in the charge, and carried away in their
mad career, was in great danger; but, seeing a way out, he headed his
horse for a position that had been taken up by the Gordons. As he
neared them, at full gallop, he ordered them to lie still; then he
leapt the intervening fence clearing, at one jump, fence, trench, and
men. With the Gordons now between him and the foe, he wheeled his horse
to a standstill, and ordered the Highlanders to get ready. The
Brunswickers had passed, severely handled by the French bayonets, and
the grenadiers, on the right, retired to the road, leaving the Gordons
an opportunity to fire obliquely upon the oncoming cavalry. These
shared the same fate as the cuirassiers, being met at short distance
with a volley which threw them into confusion. Those in front were cut
off, by dead and wounded, from those in the rear, who retreated in
disorder, while the front passed on in their headlong career, which was
really a retreat, through the village. Meanwhile, the Gordons turned
their attention to the rest, and put them to rout.

Now Napoleon had impressed upon Ney to act in a manner that must prove
decisive. The British had to be swept entirely off the field--the fate
of France depended upon this. Ney's position was a difficult one,
especially as he saw that reinforcements were coming up against him.
Accordingly, he attacked again vigorously, and sent two columns of
cavalry down upon the posts held by the Gordons. But these met with a
similar fate to those who had tried that way before. But Ney still
persisted and the Gordons were suffering heavily. How the day would
have gone, and what would have happened to our Highlanders had not the
Guards come up on their left soon afterwards, military experts alone
can conjecture; but even with their assistance--and very welcome it
was--the Gordons were yet to experience a severer trial.

It came in this way. Two columns of French infantry advanced rapidly,
by means of the Charleroi road, and the outskirts of the wood of Bossu,
and occupied a roadside house, with a thick hedge running some distance
into a field, a part of their number gaining the cover of a
thickly-hedged garden on the other side of the road. The main body of
these troops, some 14,000 strong, took up a position in the rear of
this garden.

Colonel Cameron with difficulty curbed his eagerness to let his men go,
but the Duke, who foresaw a prolonged struggle, refused to allow it. He
was, as usual, waiting for the right moment. When that moment came, and
the order was given, Cameron leapt the ditch, at the head of his men,
with old General Barnes at his side, crying, "Come on, my old 92nd!"
Then, to the shrill piping of the pibrochs, the intrepid Gordons leapt
from the ditch and fell upon the enemy with an impetus that was
irresistible. The bayonet did its terrible work, and the opposing
column fell back in confusion.

Meanwhile other sections advanced upon the hedged garden, the house,
and the field hedge, suffering heavily from these points. It was in
this advance that the staff of the colour was split into six pieces by
three bullets, and the staff of the king's colour by one. It was here,
too, that Cameron himself was wounded. Being shot in the groin, he lost
control of his horse, which galloped away with him, and finally stopped
suddenly before his own groom, who was holding a second horse. There
Cameron, in a fainting condition, was thrown out of the saddle
violently on to the road.

Colonel Cameron died of his wound late that night, but not before he
had learnt that the British arms had conquered--a fact which forms the
theme of Sir Walter Scott's immortal verse:

    And Sunart rough, and wild Ardgour,
      And Morven long shall tell,
    And proud Ben Nevis hear with awe,
    How, upon bloody Quatre-Bras,
    Brave Cameron heard the wild hurrah
      Of conquest as he fell.

Meanwhile, the Gordons had fully avenged their leader's death. With
repeated rushes upon the roadside house, they did deadly work with the
bayonet, and, amid the hail of bullets from superior forces of the
enemy, they still continued their fierce onslaughts under conditions
that would have demoralized soldiers less cool and experienced.

In the midst of the appalling fire, they separated and formed up in
three parts, one part moving to the right of the house and garden,
another part to the left, while a third prepared to assault the garden
itself. At a given moment, when the whole battalion was ready, the
order to charge was given. Then, with a resounding cheer, they rushed
forward, "the bagpipes screaming out the notes of the 'Cameron's
Gathering,' as they levelled their bayonets, and charged with the
elastic step learnt on the hillside."

The enemy stood firm for a little while against the oncoming array of
determined men; then they broke and fled, showing their backs as
targets for the Highlanders, who scattered the passage of their retreat
thickly with their dead bodies. In this action many prisoners were
taken.

The British troops, though in the minority in guns, as well as men,
stood like a rock against the searching assaults of the enemy. Ebb and
flow was the order of battle, until at last the flow of our indomitable
troops gained ground, and the enemy finally ebbed away.

Our last victory in that furious battle was gained foot by foot, and
when, in the end, the day was won, and the stars looked down upon
10,000 slain, the piper of the Gordon Highlanders took his stand in
front of the village of Quatre Bras to call the Highlanders in. "Loud
and long blew Cameron," says one who heard that call of the highland
mountain and the glen, "but his efforts could not gather above half of
those whom his music had cheered on their march to the battlefield."

Our Gordons had been through the thick of the fight; at the close of
the day they were terribly hungry, and with the cool sang-froid which
is the necessary complement to the bravery of such men, they took their
supper cooked and served in the cuirasses which had shone in the
enemy's forefront of battle some hours before.

Various writers tell of the extreme kindness received by the Gordons
after the battle from the inhabitants of Brussels and Antwerp. The
"good and brave Scots" came in on drays and wagons, apparently none the
worse for the fierce encounter, saving merely the loss of a leg, or an
arm or two. "We're a' wantin' a leg or a' airm," cried one from the
midst of a wagon-load of wounded, as if it were a kind of fraternal
greeting. The good folk, seeing their plight, and not understanding the
language, brought them wine in abundance, but the Highlanders did not
understand the colour of it, and called for "guid sma' ale" as the next
best thing to their own "white wine of the north."

Tales of suffering in those days cannot vie in magnitude with the tales
of to-day, but it is interesting to note that the endurance and
patience of the Highlanders, as they lay on the wagons, or came in on
foot, fainting with weariness and loss of blood, called forth the
remark, as they passed through the street, "the men of your country
must be made of iron."

It remains to touch on the Highlanders' own account of this battle. It
was simple and unpretentious in the extreme. One who had been severely
wounded, and was lying on the paving stones, waiting to be attended to,
was accosted by an English resident. "How you and your comrades
fought!" he said. "Your bravery will be the talk of the world. There is
no doubt, as the people here say, you and your countrymen are made of
iron." "Hoots, man," replied the Highlander, "need ye mak' sic a din
aboot the like o' that? What did we gang oot for but to fecht?"

It goes without saying that false reports of any considerable
engagement were spread through the countryside, even in those days. A
chronicler states that Mercer, when making his way to the scene of
action, happened on a Gordon Highlander, toiling painfully along the
road, badly wounded in the knee. "Halt!" cried Mercer. "Have you any
information? The Belgians tell me that our army has been forced to
retreat." "Na, na," replied the Scot; "it's a damned lee! When I cam'
awa' they were fechtin', an' they're aye fechtin' yet." With that, he
sat down on the roadside and calmly lit his pipe, while a prentice
surgeon probed for the bullet in his knee.

Another incident preserved in the records of the Gordons is related by
a Scotch lady who resided at that time in Antwerp. She had heard
reports of a retreat from Quatre Bras, and other mis-statements
concerning Mont St. Jean had also reached her ears, all to the effect
that the British had suffered severe defeat; that Wellington was
dangerously wounded, and that all of any account in our army were
either killed or taken prisoners. Moreover, thousands of French troops
had entered Brussels, and that on the heels of death and destruction
came panic and dismay. Needless to say, this was not true, except in
one point only--that 2,000 French _had_ entered Brussels; but it
was in the rôle of prisoners, not victors! On the following day the
Scotch lady went out in search of news, and was met by a long
procession of vehicles laden with the wounded. Not a word of victory
could she get on any hand, until she observed, in the very last wagon,
a group of Gordon Highlanders, badly wounded, and heavily bandaged.
They evidently knew something, for they were throwing their bonnets in
the air, and shouting: "Bony's beat! Hurrah for Bonnie Scotland! Hurrah
for Merrie England! Bony's beat!" Recognizing the Highland spirit, the
lady sought to learn the cause of their excitement, and they told her,
between their wild cries of joy, that a rider had just sped by,
bringing the glad news of victory.

It was not easy for the people of Brussels to gather the real import of
this news either from the lady or the Highlanders, but it began to
spread about, in what to them was an unknown tongue, though forcible in
vociferation, that "Bony was beat and runnin' awa' to his ain country
just as fast as he could gang." Yet there was no explaining it to them,
and it was in vain that a brawny, bearded Highlander took a Belgian
woman to task with the words, "Canna ye hear, ye auld witch? Are ye
deaf? Bony's beat, I tell ye! I tell ye, Bony's beat, wumman!" It was
no good! But the full significance of the fact was soon made known in
the city, and then there was wild rejoicing on every hand.

In those times the Belgian people conceived and fostered a great love
for the Gordon Highlanders, and no doubt the tradition has been handed
down to this day that they are the best of soldiers, sweet and gentle
in peace, and terrible in war.

The part played by the Gordons in the repulse of the Boer attack on
Ladysmith, January 6th, 1900, is never to be forgotten. It was here
that Lieutenant Colonel Dick-Cunyngham, V.C., fell at the head of his
men. It was during the Afghan campaign that this hero of the Gordons
received his V.C., when they were fighting outside Kabul in 1879.
Staggered for a moment by a terrific onslaught on the part of the
Afghans, the Gordons, their leading officer and colour-sergeant being
killed, seemed to hesitate, when Dick-Cunyngham sprang forward, and, by
his remarkable coolness and gallantry, saved the situation.

In later days, the Gordon Highlanders have maintained and even added to
the reputation thus bravely won. One signal instance is found in their
attacks on the Dargai heights. On October 18th, 1897, the Gordons
formed part of the flanking movement under Brigadier-General Kempster.
The heights were won, but were shortly re-occupied by the enemy. On the
following day, a second battle was joined about this position. Under
Sir William Lockhart the Gordons displayed their usual fighting power.
In the "Broad Arrow" of February, 18th, 1898, Sir William Lockhart
himself described the part they played:

    "The Gordon Highlanders went straight up the hill without check or
    hesitation. Headed by their pipers, and led by Colonel Mathias,
    with Major Macbean on his right, and Lieutenant A. F. Gordon on his
    left, this splendid battalion marched across the open. It dashed
    through a murderous fire, and in forty minutes had won the heights,
    leaving three officers and thirty men killed or wounded on its way.
    The first rush of the Highlanders was deserving of the highest
    praise, for they had just undergone a very severe climb, and had
    reached a point beyond which other troops had been unable to
    advance for over three hours. The first rush was followed at short
    intervals by a second and a third, each led by officers; and, as
    the leading companies went up the path for the final assault, the
    remainder of the troops streamed on in support, but few of the
    enemy waited for the bayonet, many of them being shot down as they
    fled in confusion."

Supremely heroic on a point of romantic sentiment is our Gordon
Highlander. When Cameron fell at Quatre Bras, he was not only mortally
wounded, but pinned down by his horse. In this helpless condition he
was recognised by one of the enemy, who swiftly rushed forward to
bayonet him. But swifter still came the cold steel of Ewen Macmillan
(the Colonel's foster brother) and pierced the would-be murderer to the
heart. Ewen extricated his leader and bore him off; then, his master
safe, he turned back with the set purpose of securing the saddle on
which he had sat through many a victorious battle. In the thick of the
fight the imperturbable Scot, amid a hail of bullets, secured that
saddle and returned safely with it to his company, exhibiting it with a
fine mingling of triumph and regret. "We must leave them the carcase,"
he said, "but they shan't get the saddle where Fassiefern sat." That
was what he had risked his life a thousand times a minute for--the
saddle where Fassiefern had sat!

And not only in stirring deeds of deathless glory have the Gordon
Highlanders shone in the starry sky of Britain's fame. In the course of
their long career they have been called upon to suffer and endure tests
of hardship and privation, which prove the true mettle of the British
soldier. They have played many parts in the theatre of war where the
limelight did not fall. It was even their fate to take part in the
terrible retreat to Bremen. Mr. W. Richards gives a grim description of
some of these hardships:

    "The high, keen wind carried the drifted snow and sand with such
    violence that the human frame could scarcely resist its power; the
    cold was intense; the water, which collected in the hollow eyes of
    the men, congealed as it fell, and hung in icicles from their
    eyelashes; the breath froze, and hung in icy incrustations about
    their haggard faces, and on the blankets and coats which they
    wrapped about them."

But, with the Gordons, the hardy spirit in which they weathered all
this was only a modification of that which carried them into their most
glorious triumphs on the field of battle. Speaking of hardships and
remembering the strong spirit of camaraderie which has always existed
between our soldiers of all regiments, we cannot help reminding the
Gordons that their 2nd Battalion owes the Coldstreamers one ration. It
happened in this way. When the Gordons arrived at Fuentes d'Onoro both
officers and men were literally starving, owing to a faulty
commissariat; and no sooner did the Guards get wind of this than they
volunteered a ration of biscuits, from their haversacks. Now, as the
Coldstreamers will not be able to get those biscuits from the enemy,
who appears to have "embarked without them," they may require them
again from the Gordons and they should insist on having them well
buttered.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR BADGES AND BATTLE HONOURS, ETC.

    BADGES.--The Sphinx, superscribed Egypt. The Royal Tiger,
    superscribed India.

    BATTLE HONOURS.--Mysore, Seringapatam, Egmont-op-Zee, Mandora,
    Corunna, Fuentes d'Onoro, Almaraz, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nive,
    Orthes, Peninsula, Waterloo, S. Africa 1835, Delhi, Lucknow,
    Charasiah, Kabul 1879, Kandahar 1880, Afghanistan 1878-80, Egypt
    1882-84, Tel-el-Kebir, Nile 1884-85, Chitral, Tirah, S. Africa
    1889-1902, Paardeberg, Defence of Ladysmith.

    UNIFORM.--Regular and Reserve Battns., scarlet with yellow facings.

    [To the first regiment (the 89th), raised in 1759, there belong the
    romances of two notable men. One was the Duke's brother, Lord
    William, who afterwards ran away with Lady Sarah Bunbury, and the
    other was Lord George, the future rioter. A further romance belongs
    to the Gordons proper. When, in 1794, the 4th D. of G. was
    commissioned to raise a regiment for the King, with the Duke's son,
    Lord Huntly, as its colonel, his wife Jane, "the Bonnie Duchess,"
    acted as her son's recruiting sergeant. Day after day she rode in
    among them at their gatherings, and with the King's shilling
    between her teeth, kissed them into the army. "Now, lads; whose for
    a soldier's life--and a kiss o' the Duchess Jean?" Her ambition for
    her son in the way of masculine counterpoise to the brilliant
    alliances of her daughters does not matter so much as that the
    Gordons sprang into being at the touch of her lips--which is a
    legend greatly treasured among Highlanders.]

  [Illustration: THE CONNAUGHT RANGERS AT BADAJOZ.
                _From a Painting by R. Caton Woodville._]



THE CONNAUGHT RANGERS

("THE GARVIES")

    "Rangers of Connaught, the eyes of all Ireland are on you this day.
    On then, and at them, and if you do not give them the soundest
    thrashing they have ever got in their lives, you needn't look me in
    the face again in this world or the next."--_Colonel-in-Command
    at the Front._


Towards the close of the Transvaal War the 2nd Battalion of the
Connaught Rangers performed a heroic feat, which tended to mitigate the
peace-with-little-honour feeling which marked the peace negotiations of
1879.

Lydenberg was garrisoned by some seventy men, fifty-three of whom were
Connaught Rangers, the whole being under the command of Lieut. Long, a
mere stripling lad of twenty-two. Soon after Brunker's Spruit the Boers
called upon Lydenberg to surrender, thinking that the lad of twenty-two
would do as he was told like an obedient boy. But they soon found that
they were mistaken. Long wisely temporised, and made use of a few days
thus gained to strengthen his defences. Soon came the Boers' second
demand of surrender, and this time it was scornfully flung back. So, on
the 6th January, the Boers' bombarded the place, but the little
garrison held out, and, for twelve weeks, the forces of siege,
sickness, hunger and thirst failed to break the spirit of the gallant
band. Then, when peace was declared, the 94th had no cause to feel
ashamed, for in their hands Lydenberg had never surrendered. The
British flag still fluttered above it. Worn and exhausted by terrible
hardships and privations, but _still unconquered_, the survivors
came forth in peace.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR BADGES AND BATTLE HONOURS, ETC.

    BADGES.--The Harp and Crown. The Elephant. The Sphinx, superscribed
    Egypt.

    MOTTO.--"Quis Separabit."

    BATTLE HONOURS.--Seringapatam, Talavera, Busaco, Fuentes d'Onoro,
    Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Vittoria, Nivelle, Orthes,
    Toulouse, Peninsula, Alma, Inkerman, Sevastopol, Central India, S.
    Africa 1877-79, 1899-1902, Relief of Ladysmith.

    UNIFORM.--Regular and Reserve Battns., scarlet with green facings.

    [Raised in 1793 in Connaught. Both Battns. gained undying fame in
    the Peninsula War, the regiment having the honour of forming the
    forlorn hope at the storming of both Badajoz and Ciudad Rodrigo.
    The regiment also fought with distinction in the Crimea and the
    Indian Mutiny. During the Boer War of 1899 the 1st Battn. formed
    part of the famous Irish Brigade in Natal, and in 1901 it became a
    battn. of mounted infantry.]



THE ARGYLL AND SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS

("THE THIN RED LINE")

    "Wherever they have lived and fought they have carried with them
    the fearless picturesqueness of their indomitable mountains."


At Sevastopol, as at few other battles in the history of wars, was
displayed the most magnificent valour of the Highlander. The approaches
to Balaclava were protected by six batteries manned by Turks, who, it
will be remembered, were in those days our allies. On October 25th,
1854, the Russians made a determined attack on these redoubts, speedily
captured three of the batteries, and at once turned them on the 93rd
Highlanders, under Sir Colin Campbell, compelling them to seek cover
behind a slight ridge. No sooner had they done so than a horde of
Russian cavalry swept down upon them, whereat Sir Colin ordered his men
to breast the ridge and hold it against them at all costs. "Men," he
said, "there is no retreat from here; you must die where you stand."
"Ay, ay, Sir Colin," was the cool response, "and we'll do that if needs
be."

The men were only two or three deep, but that "thin red line,"
bristling with steel, was none the less formidable for that. Every
heart was staunch and every hand was steady. Nearer and nearer came the
rolling thunder of the Russian cavalry, quickening as it came. They
were now at 600 yards. "Fire!" the order was given, and the lead went
forth, but the Russians, though galled, still came on. At 200 yards a
second volley rang out, and this time the enemy wavered and could only
be rallied by the remarkable determination of their officers. Their
swerve was headed into a flank attack, but the Highlanders stood firm
as their native rocks, and met their last onrush with volley on volley.

    "Then had you seen a gallant shock
    When saddles were emptied and lances broke."

The enemy, now in confusion, looked at the cold steel awaiting them,
turned in dismay and fled in disorder to the shelter of their own guns.

The 93rd were also at Lucknow, and the way they came to the rescue of
the hard-pressed garrison of that city makes a thrilling episode.

Well known is the story of Jessie, the Scotch nurse, who was within the
fortifications of Lucknow when the final grip of despair was closing on
the beleaguered garrison. Sitting musing on the hope of death as
against the horrors of surrender, she suddenly raised her head and
listened. Was she dreaming of the hills and glens of her native land,
which she might never see again, or was that the sound of the pibrochs
floating on the breeze from far away? She started up, declaring that
she heard the wild music of her own country drawing nearer and nearer
out of the distance. Others listened, but could hear nothing, and
thought that Jessie was fey. But the simple-living Scotch folk are
renowned for their second sight and clairaudience, and the event proved
that Jessie was right; for at that moment, though far beyond the range
of physical hearing, the Highlanders, under Sir Colin Campbell, were
marching swiftly towards Lucknow, with Cameron striding at their head,
blowing his loudest.

  [Illustration: THE ARGYLL AND SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS AT BALACLAVA.
                _From a Painting by R. Caton Woodville._]

When they arrived at the city they made no pause, but swept down on the
dastardly foe with irresistible force, while the bagpipes screamed and
the men cheered wildly. Then ensued a running fight lasting some hours,
after which post after post was seized and occupied until finally the
siege was raised, and Sir Colin Campbell and Sir Henry Havelock met
within the city and shook hands on a glorious relief.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR BADGES, BATTLE HONOURS, ETC.

    BADGES.--A Boar's Head within a wreath of myrtle. A Cat within a
    wreath of broom, all over the label as represented in the arms of
    the Princess Louise, and surmounted with H.R.H.'s coronet. In each
    of the four corners the Princess Louise Cypher and Coronet.

    MOTTOES.--"Ne obliviscaris." "Sans peur."

    BATTLE HONOURS.--Cape of Good Hope 1806, Rolica, Vimiera, Coronna,
    Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse, Peninsula, Alma,
    Balaclava, Sevastopol, Lucknow, S. Africa 1846-47, 1851-53, 1879,
    1899-1902, Modder River, Paardeberg.

    UNIFORM.--Regular and Reserve Battns., scarlet with yellow facings.

    [1st Battn. (Argyllshire Highlanders): raised in 1794 by the Duke
    of Argyll. 2nd Battn. (Sutherland Highlanders): raised by the Duke
    of Sutherland in 1800. The 1st Battn. formed the bulk of the heroes
    of the wreck of the _Birkenhead_. The 2nd Battn. were the
    celebrated "thin red line" at Balaclava. The regiment won great
    distinction during the Indian Mutiny. It formed part of General
    Wauchope's force at Magersfontein (1899).]



THE DUBLIN FUSILIERS

("THE OLD TOUGHS")


The Dublin Fusiliers had a large share in writing the red history of
India. Their prestige has been drawn mainly from the East. Indeed,
although they have been in existence 246 years, they never set eyes on
the white cliffs of Dover until the other day, so to speak, in 1871. On
their colours stand the Royal Tiger of Bengal, and the Indian Elephant,
together with the honours--Plassey, Mysore, The Carnatic, Buxar, and
many others gained in India which are unknown to any other regiment. In
the conquest of India they were Clive's men, Warren Hastings' men, and
"their names are the names of the victories of England." It is scarcely
too much to say that Indian territory was made British by the Dublin
Fusiliers. The story of how India would have become part of the French
Empire but for the daring genius of an obscure youth and the
indomitable valour of the Dublin Fusiliers makes thrilling reading.

The French had laid siege to Trichinopoly, knowing that, with its fall,
fell India into their hands; but Clive, a young man of twenty-five
years, a born genius, without any further acquirement in the way of
special training, evolved as if by a heaven-sent inspiration--a sudden
plan--the consummate daring of which has not been equalled in the
history of any other nation. It was, in brief, to raise the siege of
Trichinopoly by dealing a sledge-hammer stroke upon Arcot, the capital
of the Carnatic--a city whose population was 100,000, and whose
garrison consisted of 1,100 trained men. Clive proposed to subdue this
strongly defended city with 200 Dublin Fusiliers and 300 Sepoys. This
unheard-of intention must have had something unseen and undreamt of
behind it, as the shadow of the coming event. The issue proved this.
With his handful of men, tuned to his own pitch of enthusiasm, he
marched boldly on Arcot during the night. He was not alone. His allies
were the elements. As he neared the gates of the city, they broke
loose. The lightning flashed, the thunder roared, and the rain
descended in torrents. In the midst of this, he and his little band
entered the city as if at the head of an unknown mighty army. These
men, who came attended by the artillery of the storm gods, by the
lightning's flash and search-light, seemed all too many for the
garrison. Terrified, they fled in tumult and disorder, and Clive by
this master-stroke, aided by That which has aided Britain many times in
a moment of daring extremity, seized Arcot, and held it.

But this master-stroke required confirmation before it was effective.
It yet remained for Clive, and his brave band to display the endurance
and patience necessary to hold what was won. The besiegers of
Trichinopoly gathered reinforcements, and beleaguered Arcot. Ten
thousand men enforced that place. In the course of days four officers,
nearly 100 Dublin Fusiliers and over 100 Sepoys were lost. Says an
eye-witness who describes the place, "The ramparts were too narrow to
admit the guns, the battlements too low to protect the soldiers." In
this siege, which lasted fifty days, elephants were used by the
besieging hosts. With the battering-rams slung between them, they were
pushed forward against the walls, but the "Dubs" sent such a fusilade
against them that the beasts turned tail, and trampled hundreds of the
enemy to death.

The little body of Dublin Fusiliers and Sepoys--it was the first, but
not the last time that Indian troops have fought bravely by our
side--held out, and finally the enemy, after a fierce attack, in which
they were worsted, retreated. Clive followed them up remorselessly. In
that pursuit Pondicherry and Tanjore were taken, and now, at Plassey,
were 100 British, and 2,000 Sepoys, who, in a decisive action, defeated
60,000 of the enemy under Surajah Dowlah. This superiority of a cause
which, reinforcing an inferiority of men, has proved, through thick
blood and thin, to be at the behest of civilisation, is not without its
far-off echo in the present day.

It needs to be added that the whole of the honours of the Dublin
Fusiliers, until "South Africa, 1899-1902," and "Relief of Ladysmith,"
were won by the Madras Fusiliers and Bombay Fusiliers (East India
Company's regiments). It was only in 1881 that they were given the name
"Royal Dublin Fusiliers," and as such, our English, Scotch and Welsh
have never a fault to find with them.

It was at Arcot that Lieutenant Trewith, of the Madras Fusiliers, saved
Clive's life at the expense of his own, and so, indirectly, yet
practically, saved India. At a moment when Clive was unaware of danger
Trewith saw one of the besiegers taking a long, steady aim at him
through a small breach. There was no time to do anything in the way of
warning. There was merely time to thrust his own body between the
bullet and Clive's heart--between another Power and India. That was a
moment as heroic for an individual as it was critical for a nation.

From the battle of Plassey onwards, wherever there was fighting, there
were the Dublin Fusiliers. At Condore and Wandiwash, at Buxar and
Sholingur, they were present--not in numbers but in force. It has
ceased to be a strange thing regarding the Dublin Fusiliers that their
greatest victories were those in which the odds were against them.

At Cuddalore the "Dubs" saw the first step of a romance which went far
in a world of practical reality. It was there that they took no less a
person than Bernadotte prisoner--Bernadotte, the born leader of men,
who afterwards married Desirée Clary (the early love of Napoleon),
became Field Marshal, and died King of Sweden. Little did those
practical fighters think, when they treated the young Bernadotte kindly
at their camp fire that they had actually captured the future father of
King Oscar of Sweden--a monarch who received his name from his
god-father Napoleon Bonaparte, after his favourite hero, Oscar of
_Ossian_.

As the almost impossible name of Nundy Droog has been glorified by the
"Dubs," one may fairly reason that the glory of a place-name may be
derived from what takes place there. Nundy Droog is a fortress set upon
a great crag, nearly half a mile high. The story of the three weeks'
siege of this difficult place has a sublime climax in the final and
victorious assault of the Dublin Fusiliers. It was night, and the
Indian moon shone full upon the giant crag, whose serried points seemed
to pierce the sky, casting deep shadows on the rocky facets and gloomy
ravines. From far above fell the bugle calls of the defenders, tossed
by echo from precipice to precipice, to die away in the dark spaces.
Then rang out an answering clarion note from below, sounding the
assault, and the Dublin Fusiliers advanced up the sides of that
precipitous height. "Then," says a chronicler, with a peculiar
inversion of metaphorical allusion, "hell opened _above them_, cannon
shot ploughed through them, musketry raked them, rockets blasted them,
great boulders rolled down from above and carried many away." But,
undaunted, the Dublin Fusiliers climbed on and up, until at last their
final dash on the summit was so determined that the enemy fled
dismayed.

Later, standing in pools of blood where lay women of Cawnpore, while
little baby-shoes floated about them, the Dublin Fusiliers--strong men,
sobbing with grief--vowed vengeance on the perpetrators of the foulest
deeds, and saw it carried out. The murderers were captured and blown
from the guns, their hands smeared with the blood of their innocent
victims, and, according to their own belief, their high-caste souls
consequently damned for ever.

The Dublin Fusiliers fought grandly in the Boer War, and nothing could
hold them back. After Colenso they were found to be only 400 strong. In
view of their terrible losses it was decided to send them off to Frere
to keep the communications open. It was at parade that they were
informed of this, and they one and all "nabbed the rust" and swore they
would be in the fighting line or die. They were expostulated with, but
all arguments were of no avail; the fighting spirit was too strong, and
these heroic fellows were allowed to remain to have another cut at the
enemy.

During the battle of Colenso occurred a real "Irish" incident which is
amusing. The "Dubs" were advancing on the enemy's left flank under a
searching shell and rifle fire, when they paused for cover at a
poorly-sheltered spot. Here two of the men had a private difference,
and, with the battle raging round them, and the bullets whistling
through their hair, they set about one another with their fists, their
comrades gathering round and looking on with interest. When the matter
was satisfactorily settled, and the best man had let the other up, the
two shook hands, and, joining common cause against the enemy, coolly
resumed the advance, and proceeded about the less personal business of
the day.

It was at Lucknow that Tommy Atkins, the sentry, when he saw the people
flying for the Residency, refused to leave his post, and was killed by
the Sepoys. This proud nickname, Tommy Atkins, has now come to mean any
soldier in the British Army, and rightly so, for, be it said, they are
all built on the same plan as the one who immortalized their present
name.

There are two true stories of the Dublin Fusiliers which will bear
repeating; indeed, they are more than true: they are tender and true,
and show the noblest form of self-sacrifice in the face of unconquering
death. At Natal, when Captain Paton was severely wounded, one of his
disabled men crept to his side in the cold, teeming rain, and lay with
his arms about him all night long, trying to keep the necessary warmth
in his body. And if you remind an old Dublin Fusilier of this touching
story, he will most probably tell you another of eighty years ago,
which is like unto it. There were, so the records tell, two
foster-brothers in the Bombay Fusiliers (the 2nd "Dubs")--the younger
an officer, and the elder a devil-may-care private. "Ye'll be lookin'
after the lad," said their mother, when they left for the front. "I
will," replied the reckless one; and he did. They were found, years
later, upon a mountain-side in India, both dead, lying among dead and
wounded. But--and here is the lump in the throat--the younger had been
badly wounded, and the elder only slightly; but, dead from exposure,
there he lay by his brother's side, stripped to the skin, all his
clothes being piled upon his mother's younger son to keep his ebbing
life-spark warm. Deep down in the devil-may-care Bombay Fusilier who
did that deed was surely the spirit that conquers death, subjecting it
to the higher glory of Britain.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    THEIR BADGES AND BATTLE HONOURS, ETC.

BADGES.--The Royal Tiger, superscribed, "Plassey," "Buxar." The
Elephant, superscribed "Carnatic," "Mysore."

MOTTO.--"Spectamur Agendo."

BATTLE HONOURS.--Arcot, Condore, Wandiwash, Scholingur, Nundy Droog,
Amboyna, Ternate, Banda, Pondicherry, Mahidpoor, Guzerat, Seringapatam,
Kirkee, Beni Boo Ally, Aden, Punjaub, Mooltan, Goojerat, Ava, Pegu,
Lucknow, S. Africa 1899-1902, Relief of Ladysmith.

UNIFORM.--Scarlet with blue facings.



FUENTES D'ONORO AND ALBUERA

    "A battle's never lost until it's won."--_Old British proverb._

    "Nothing could stop that astonishing infantry."

    _Napier._


As at Balaclava and Inkerman, a great number of our Expeditionary
regiments now contending side by side at the front were present at the
victorious battle of Fuentes d'Onoro, and a new significance attaches
to that name from the fact that these regiments were mainly responsible
for the victory on that occasion. The battle is also very noteworthy in
the annals of British pluck and endurance for the number of times the
little village was taken and retaken in the course of the day.

In September, 1810, Wellington, having beaten Regnier and Ney at
Busaco, withdrew to his colossal defences at Torres Vedras. In the
following spring he again assumed the offensive, and marched his army
to Fuentes d'Onoro, where the battle of glorious incident was fought. A
Highlander who was in the fight has described it in the following
picturesque narrative, which as his description is taken from notes
written in camp, contains no indication as to his regiment, and
prudently refrains from mentioning the names of most of the other
regiments, we may preface it with a list of the principal regiments
engaged. They were as follow:

    1st (Royal) Dragoons; 14th (King's) Hussars; 16th (Queen's)
    Lancers; the Coldstream Guards and Scots Guards; King's Royal Rifle
    Corps; the Rifle Brigade; 1st and 2nd Battalion Highland Light
    Infantry; 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders; 1st Battalion Royal
    Highlanders (Black Watch); 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers; 1st
    Battalion Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders; Norfolk Regiment; 1st
    Battalion Yorkshire Light Infantry; 1st Battalion Royal Irish
    Rifles; 1st Battalion Connaught Rangers; 16th Lancers; and others.

And here is his story, in the course of which the reader must make what
he can of the curious fact that the cavalry on both sides were chiefly
Germans!

    "Our regiment was moved to the village of Fuentes d'Onoro, a few
    miles nearer Almeida. A great part of the way we moved through a
    wood of oak trees, in which the inhabitants of the surrounding
    villages had herds of swine feeding; here the voice of the cuckoo
    was never mute; night and day its simple notes were heard in every
    quarter of the wood.

    "The village we now occupied was in Spain.... The site of the
    village was beautiful and romantic; it lay in a sort of ravine,
    down which a small river brawled over an irregular rocky bed, in
    some places forming precipitous falls of many feet; the acclivity
    on each side was occasionally abrupt, covered with trees and thick
    brush-wood. Three leagues to the left of our front lay the villages
    of Gallegos and Espeja, in and about which our Light Division and
    cavalry were quartered. Between this and Fuentes lay a large wood,
    which, receding on the right, formed a plain, flanked by a deep
    ravine, being a continuation of that in which the village lay. In
    our rear was another plain, on which our army subsequently formed,
    and behind that, in a valley, Villa Fermosa, the river Coa running
    past it.

    "We had not been many days here when we received intelligence that
    the light troops were falling back upon our village, the enemy
    having recrossed the Agueda in great force, for the purpose of
    relieving Almeida, which we had blockaded. On the morning we
    received this intelligence (3rd May, 1811), our regiment turned out
    of the town, and took up their position with the rest of the
    division on a plain some distance behind it. The morning was
    uncommonly beautiful; the sun shone bright and warm; the various
    odoriferous shrubs, which were scattered profusely around, perfumed
    the air, and the woods rang with the song of birds.

    "The Light Division and cavalry falling back, followed by the
    columns of the French, the various divisions of the army assembling
    on the plain from different quarters, their arms glittering in the
    sun; bugles blowing, drums beating, the various staff officers
    galloping about to different parts of the line giving orders,
    formed a scene which realized to my mind all that I had ever read
    of feats of arms, or the pomp of war--a scene which no one could
    behold unmoved, or without feeling a portion of that enthusiasm
    which always accompanies 'deeds of high daring'; a scene justly
    conceived, and well described by Moore, in the beautiful song:--

        Oh, the sight entrancing
        When the morning's beam is glancing
          O'er files array'd
          With helm and blade
        And plumes in the gay wind dancing!

    "Our position was now taken up in such a way that our line ran
    along the frontiers of Portugal, maintaining the blockade of
    Almeida by our left, while our right kept open the communication
    with Sabugal, the place where the last action was fought.

    "The French advanced on our position in three columns, about three
    o'clock in the afternoon, and detached a strong body of troops
    against Fuentes, which was at this time occupied as an advance post
    by the 60th Regiment (1st Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps), and
    the light company of our division. The skirmishers were covered in
    their advance by cavalry, in consequence of which ours were obliged
    to fall back for greater safety to some stone fences on the
    outskirts of the village, while a party of our German hussars
    covered their retreat.

    "The cavalry now commenced skirmishing, the infantry keeping up an
    occasional fire. It was rather remarkable that the cavalry on both
    sides happened to be Germans. When this was understood, volleys of
    insulting language, as well as shot, were exchanged between them.
    One of our hussars got so enraged at something one of his opponents
    said, that, raising his sword, he dashed forward upon him into the
    very centre of their line. The insulting hussar, seeing that he had
    no mercy to expect from his enraged foe, wheeled about his horse,
    and rode to the rear. The other, determined on revenge, still
    continued to follow him. The whole attention, on both sides, was
    drawn for a moment to these two, and a temporary cessation of
    firing took place. The French stared in astonishment at our
    hussar's temerity, while our men were cheering him on. The chase
    continued for some way to the rear of their cavalry. At last, our
    hussar, coming up with him, fetched a furious blow, and brought him
    to the ground.

    "Awakening now to a sense of the danger he had thrown himself into,
    he set his horse at full speed to get back to his comrades, but the
    French, who were confounded when he passed, had recovered their
    surprise, and, determined on avenging the death of their comrade,
    they joined in pursuit, firing their pistols at him. The poor
    fellow was now in a hazardous plight; they were every moment
    gaining upon him, and he had still a long way to ride. A band of
    the enemy took a circuit for the purpose of intercepting him, and
    before he could reach the line, he was surrounded, and would have
    been cut to pieces, had not a party of his comrades, stimulated by
    the wish to save so brave a fellow, rushed forward, and arrived
    just in time, by making the attack general, to save his life, and
    brought him off in triumph.

    "The overwhelming force which the French now pushed forward on the
    village could not be withstood by the small number of troops which
    defended it; they were obliged to give way, and were fairly forced
    to a rising ground on the other side, where stood a small chapel.
    The French now thought they had gained their point, but they were
    soon undeceived, for, being reinforced at this place by the
    Portuguese cacadores, our lads came to the right-about, and
    attacked them with such vigour that in a short time they were
    driven back to their old ground. While retreating through the town,
    one of our sergeants, who had run up the wrong street, being pushed
    hard by the enemy, ran into one of the houses; they were close at
    his heels, and he had just time to wrench open the door of a
    cupboard in a recess and tumble himself into a large chest, when
    they entered and commenced plundering the house, expressing their
    wonder, at the same time, concerning the sudden disappearance of
    the 'Anglois' whom they had seen run into the house. During the
    time the poor sergeant lay sweating and half smothered they were
    busy breaking open everything that came in their way, looking for
    plunder, and they had just discovered the concealed door of his
    hiding-place when the noise of our men cheering, as they charged
    the enemy through the town, forced them to take flight. The
    sergeant now got out, and having joined his company, assisted in
    driving the French back.

    "No other part of the line had as yet been attacked by the French;
    they seemed bent on taking the village of Fuentes in the first
    place, as a stepping-stone, and the main body of each army lay
    looking at each other. Finding that the force they had sent down,
    great as it was, could not keep possession of the place, they sent
    forward two strong bodies of fresh troops to re-attack it, one of
    which, composed of the Irish Legion, dressed in red uniform, was at
    first taken for a British regiment, and they had time to form up,
    and give us a volley before the mistake was discovered.

    "The village was now vigorously attacked by the enemy at two
    points, and with such a superior force, that, in spite of the
    unparalleled bravery of our troops, they were driven back,
    contesting every inch of the ground.

    "On our retreat through the village, we were met by the 71st
    Regiment, cheering and led on by Colonel Cadogan, which had been
    detached from the line to our support. The chase was now turned,
    and although the French were obstinately intent on keeping their
    ground, and so eager that many of their cavalry had entered the
    town and rushed furiously down the streets, all their efforts were
    in vain; nothing could withstand the charge of the gallant 71st,
    and in a short time, in spite of all resistance, they cleared the
    village."

[This regiment (1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry) was always
remarkable for its gallantry. The brave Cadogan well knew the art of
rendering his men invincible; he knew that the courage of the British
soldier is best called forth by associating it with his country, and he
also knew how to time the few words which produced such magical
effects.]

    "We were now once more in possession of the place, but our loss, as
    well as that of the French, had been very great. In particular
    places of the village, where a stand had been made, or the shot
    brought to bear, the slaughter had been immense. The French,
    enraged at being thus baffled in all their attempts to attack the
    town, sent forward a force composed of the very flower of their
    army, but they gained only a temporary advantage, for, being
    reinforced by the 79th Regiment--although the contest remained
    doubtful until night--we remained in possession of it, with the
    exception of a few houses on the rise of the hill at the French
    side. The light brigade of our division was now withdrawn, and the
    71st and 79th Regiments remained as a picquet in it during the
    night. Next morning it was again occupied as before. On the 4th
    both sides were busily employed burying the dead and bringing in
    the wounded, French and English promiscuously mixed, and assisted
    each other in that melancholy duty, as if they had been intimate
    friends.... During this day, the French generals reconnoitred our
    position, and next morning (the 5th), they made a movement to their
    left with two strong columns. This caused a corresponding movement
    in our lines, and it was scarcely made, when they attacked our
    right, composed of the 7th Division, with all their cavalry, and
    succeeded in turning it, but they were gallantly met by some
    squadrons of our dragoons, and repulsed. Their columns of infantry
    still continued to advance on the same point, and were much galled
    by the heavy fire kept up on them by the 7th Division, but in
    consequence of this movement, our communication with Sabugal was
    abandoned for a stronger position, and our army was now formed in
    two lines, the Light Division and cavalry in reserve. This
    manoeuvre paralysed their attack on our line, and their efforts
    were chiefly confined to partial cannonading, and some charges with
    their cavalry, which were received and repulsed by the 3rd Regiment
    of Guards in one instance; but, as they were falling back, they did
    not perceive the charge of a different body of the enemy's cavalry
    in time to form, and many of them were killed, wounded, and taken
    prisoners. Colonel Hill, who commanded the picquets, was among the
    latter; the 42nd Regiment (The Black Watch) also, under Lord
    Blantyre, gallantly repulsed another charge made by the enemy's
    cavalry. The Frenchmen then attempted to push a strong body of
    light infantry down the ravine to the right of the 1st Division,
    but they were driven back by some companies of the Guards and 95th
    Rifles (now the "Rifle Brigade.")

    "While on the right this was going on, the village of Fuentes was
    again attacked by a body of the Imperial Guard, and, as on the 3rd,
    the village was taken and retaken several times. At one time they
    had brought down such an overwhelming force that our troops were
    fairly beat out of the town, and the French formed a close column
    between it and us. Some guns which were posted on the rise in front
    of our line, having opened upon them, made them change their
    ground, and the 88th Regiment (Connaught Rangers) being detached
    from our division, led on by the heroic General McKinnon (who
    commanded our right brigade), charged them furiously, and drove
    them back through the village with great slaughter.

    "Some time previous to this, General Picton had had occasion to
    check this regiment for some little plundering affair they had been
    guilty of, and he was so offended at their conduct that, in
    addressing them, he had told them they were the greatest
    'blackguards' in the army. But, as he was always as ready to give
    praise as censure, where it was due, when they were returning from
    this gallant and effective charge, he exclaimed, 'Well done, the
    brave 88th!' Some of them who had been stung at his former
    reproaches cried out, 'Are we the greatest blackguards in the army
    now?' The valiant Picton smiled, and replied: 'No, no, you are
    brave and gallant soldiers; this day has redeemed your character.'

    "At one time during the contest, when the enemy had gained a
    partial position of the village, our light troops had retired into
    a small wood above it, where they were huddled together without any
    regularity (a French officer, while leading on his men, having been
    killed in our front), a bugler of the 83rd Regiment (now 1st
    Battalion Irish Rifles) starting out between the fire of both
    parties, seized his gold watch; but he had scarcely returned, when
    a cannon shot from the enemy came whistling past him, and he fell
    lifeless on the spot. The blood spurted out of his nose and ears,
    but with the exception of this, there was neither wound nor bruise
    on his body--the shot had not touched him.

    "The phenomenon here described has been the subject of much
    discussion among medical men; some attribute it to the shot
    becoming electrical, and parting with its electricity in passing
    the body, while others maintain that the ball does strike the
    individual obliquely, and although there is no appearance of injury
    on the surface, there always exists serious derangement of the
    system internally.

    "We had regained possession of the village a short time after, and
    got a little breathing time.... After the various takings and
    retakings of the village, night again found us in possession of it.
    On the 6th, no attempt was made to renew the attack, and, as on the
    4th, the army on each side was employed burying the dead, and
    looking after the wounded. On the 7th, we still remained quiet, but
    on this day the whole French army were reviewed on the plain by
    Massena. On the 8th, the French sentries were withdrawn at
    daylight, the main body of the enemy having retired during the
    night to the woods between Fuentes and Gallegos. On the 9th they
    broke up, and retired from their position, and on the 10th they had
    recrossed the Agueda without having accomplished the relief of
    Almeida."

Full of interest and significance as was the battle of Fuentes d'Onoro,
it remains that the most sanguinary and glorious battle of the
Peninsular War, as far as the soldiers were concerned, was that of
Albuera where, on May 16th, the skilful Soult was defeated by
Beresford, with tremendous slaughter.

Just as the battle of Fuentes arose out of the determination of Massena
to save Almeida, so that of Albuera was owing to Soult's desire to save
Badajoz, which was in siege by Beresford. Wellington was returning
victorious from the north to join Beresford, but, before he arrived,
the bloodiest battle of the Peninsula was over.

Before the siege of Badajoz was well compacted Soult came up with a
superior force, and Beresford decided to raise the siege and stake the
issue on a pitched battle. The Allies took up their position on the
ridge of Albuera, some 28,000 strong, including 10,000 half-trained
Spaniards, who were something between a hindrance and a help. Soult's
force consisted of 19,000 picked infantry, 4,000 cavalry, and fifty
guns.

It is the very climax and turning point of this fight that interests us
here. It came at a time when Houghton's Brigade, being practically
worsted in an assault on the ridge, were failed by Beresford, but
succored by Colonel Hardinge, who, on his own responsibility, ordered
the advance of General Cole's Division against the enemy. This, the 4th
Division, consisting mainly of British fusiliers, succeeded in turning
the tide of battle. Cole himself led the fusiliers up the hill, on the
crest of which the French with their artillery were stationed in force;
and, as if that were not superiority enough, the whole of Soult's
reserve was advancing in mass to support the columns on the ridge.
Houghton's Brigade held on in what seemed a losing fight. The ground
was heaped with dead, and the Polish lancers were beginning to gather
round the British guns. The brigade saw defeat and destruction staring
it in the face. But they endured for sheer tenacity's sake, not knowing
that but a few moments more mattered everything. The Royal Welsh
Fusiliers swept steadily upwards, attacked the savage lancers, charged
their gathering hosts, and put the enemy to rout. It was Houghton's
Brigade that had borne the brunt, but it was the Welsh Fusiliers that
decided the victory.

Napier has pictured this glorious passage of arms so vividly that it is
no man's presumptuous task to describe it independently. "Such a
gallant line," he says, "issuing from the midst of smoke, and rapidly
separating itself from the confused and broken multitude, startled the
enemy's heavy masses which were increasing and pressing onwards as to
an assured victory. They wavered, hesitated, and then, vomiting forth a
storm of fire, hastily endeavoured to enlarge their front, while a
fearful discharge of grape from all their artillery whistled through
the British ranks. Sir William Myers was killed. Cole, and the three
Colonels: Ellis, Blakeney, and Hawkshawe, fell wounded, and the
fusilier battalions, struck by the iron tempest, reeled and staggered
like sinking ships. Suddenly and sternly recovering, they closed on
their terrible enemies, and then was seen with what a strength and
majesty the British soldier fights. In vain did Soult, by voice and
gesture, animate his Frenchmen; in vain did the hardiest veterans,
extricating themselves from the crowded columns, sacrifice their lives
to gain time for the mass to open out on such a fair field; in vain did
the mass itself bear up, and, fiercely arising, fire indiscriminately
upon friends and foes, while the horsemen hovering on the flank,
threatened to charge the advancing line. Nothing could stop that
astonishing infantry. No sudden burst of undisciplined valour, no
nervous enthusiasm weakened the stability of their order; their
flashing eyes were bent on the dark columns in their front; their
measured tread shook the ground; their dreadful volleys swept away the
head of every formation; their deafening shouts overpowered the
dissonant cries that broke from all parts of the tumultuous crowd as,
foot by foot, and with a horrid carnage, it was driven by the incessant
vigour of the attack to the farthest edge of the hill. In vain did the
French reserves, joining with the struggling multitudes, endeavour to
sustain the fight; their efforts only increased the irremediable
confusion, and the mighty mass, giving way like a loosened cliff, went
headlong down the ascent. The rain flowed after in streams discoloured
with blood, and 1,500 unwounded men, the remnant of 6,000 unconquerable
British soldiers, stood triumphant on the fatal hill."

It must be added to this classic word-picture of the fight on the ridge
that Marshal Beresford in his despatch to Lord Wellington, dated
Albuera, 18th May, said, "It was observed that our dead, particularly
the 57th Regiment (the "Die Hards" of Albuera), were lying as they had
fought in the ranks, and that every wound was in front."



BALACLAVA AND INKERMAN

    "The Cavalry do as they like to the enemy until they are confronted
    by thrice their numbers....

    "Our Artillery has never been opposed to less than three or four
    times their numbers."--_Sir John French at the Front._


The majority of the Expeditionary Forces now at the front carry in
their hearts if not on their standards the glorious legends of
Balaclava and of Inkerman. At a time when it has become so evident that
the tendency of the Prussian military system is to crush individual
initiative, while that of the British system is to encourage it on
equal terms with a free and unhesitating obedience to the will of the
commander, the battles of Balaclava and Inkerman are of peculiar
significance, for, while Balaclava contains a glorious instance of
blind obedience, Inkerman stands alone as a sanguinary conflict in
which, to quote an eye-witness, "every man was his own general." For
this reason it has been called a "soldiers' battle," and as such it
forms a useful example, not only of the fine behaviour of our soldiers
when thrown on the limit of their own individual resources, but also of
the self-reliant valour and do-or-die spirit that has brought them
through so many desperately prolonged struggles before and since. The
fact that Inkerman was fought and won in a thick fog makes it all the
more wonderful and satisfactory that the units, and even individuals,
of our army on that occasion co-operated well within the boundaries of
a sound and discreet initiative. Many full descriptions have been given
of Balaclava and Inkerman. Our space here will not allow of more than a
brief account of some of the glorious deeds on those fields of victory.

On October 25th, 1885, the Russians made a bold attempt to take
Balaclava, and the tale of their defeat is the immortal tale of two of
the finest cavalry charges ever known in the history of war.
Immortalised in verse by Tennyson, the "Charge of the Light Brigade" is
a deed bringing honour and glory for all time; yet the charge of the
Heavy Brigade earlier on the same day was an affair even more deadly to
the enemy and more responsible for the final victory.

At the first attack of the Russians the 93rd (Sutherland) Highlanders
were called upon to face them and defend the foremost approach. Eight
Squadrons of General Scarlett's Heavy Brigade on the left wing were at
once ordered to their assistance. Of these the Scots Greys and
Inniskillings were diverted to check the advance of a body of Russian
cavalry 3,000 strong, which was descending from the hill into the
valley. It all happened on the spur of the moment. As soon as Scarlett
became aware of the meaning of those 3,000 of the enemy he made up his
mind in a flash. It was one of the intuitions that determine the
fortune of war. "Left wheel into line!" and the Greys and Inniskillings
were ready. They saw the cause and understood the intention. They
wheeled into line, and as they formed up with quick, cool decision, the
Russians paused, as if to calculate, some 500 paces away. "Charge!" And
the Greys and Inniskillings, with Scarlett at their head, thundered
forward on the enemy.

It was a gallant and almost desperate undertaking, for the two
squadrons were greatly out-numbered by the opposing force; but it was
so sudden, unexpected and headlong, that the Russians were thrown into
hesitation and scarcely knew on the spur of the moment the best way to
meet it. After the terrible clash of meeting they could do no more than
try to close in on the English, and in this, by dint of superior
numbers, they must in the end have wiped our men out had it not been
that in the very thick of it help came from several sides. First, small
detachments of other "Heavies" came up rapidly and fell upon the
enclosing Russians so fiercely that their plan was weakened. Then a
whole squadron of Inniskillings from our right swept down on the
enemy's left and completely frustrated its encircling movement.
Finally, from different quarters, the 4th and 5th Dragoon Guards and
the Royals came up like a whirlwind, and the result of it all was a
fight of the wildest and most terrible kind. In the thick of it were
Scarlett and his two squadrons, and the enemy were cut up and swept
away like chaff before the terrible onslaught within and without, until
at last they broke and fled in utter confusion back over the crest of
the hill. So, in glorious victory, ended the Charge of the Heavy
Brigade, a splendid feat of generalship and valour which, though unsung
by Laureates, nevertheless throws a tremendous weight of tradition into
the spirit of the "Heavies" who, with three of their regiments--the
Scots Greys, and the 4th and 5th Dragoon Guards, are to-day repeating
such deeds at the front without being aware that they are doing
anything extraordinary.

The Charge of the Light Brigade is a matter that all the world knows
while all the world wonders--in one sense, that it was ever undertaken,
and, in another, that mortal flesh and blood could dare so desperate
and unwarlike a deed at the behest of discipline and still succeed in
turning it to glorious account. What happened is household reading, but
who could be restrained from relating it, and who can refrain from
reading it yet once more?

The Light Brigade, with the 13th Light Dragoons and the 17th Lancers in
the first line, the 11th Hussars in the second, and the 4th Light
Dragoons and the 8th Hussars in the third, was drawn up two deep as
soon as the ambiguous order arrived. The Heavy Brigade was in readiness
to support, with Lord Lucan commanding in person the Greys and Royals.
A brief question as to the meaning of the order and a quick reply that
it was no time to question, but merely to obey, and then the trumpet
rang out for the charge. It had no uncertain sound and every man
prepared to do and die as they went down the hill with Lord Cardigan at
their head at a speed approaching twenty miles an hour. Sheets of
flame, and a hail of lead, leapt out upon their flanks from the Russian
infantry. Captain Nolan darted out across their front, shouting and
waving his sword in the futile effort to explain that it was all a
mistake. But their minds were made up and they did not heed or could
not understand his gestures, at so swift a pace; and then, swifter
still, a fragment of shell tore its way through Nolan's heart and his
horse wheeled and bore him, dead, but still upright, through the
advancing ranks before he fell.

Meanwhile the brigade hurled forward, through the dense pall of smoke
before the guns, into that dreadful impact which has shown the nations
for ever what our heroes can do. Those who passed between the shot and
shell passed also between the guns, sabring the gunners as they went,
until they launched upon the squadron beyond. Then ensued a mighty
conflict for the possession of the guns. While those in the first line
fought fiercely with the enemy's cavalry the second and third lines
thundered in and made their business plain. It was to silence the guns,
and with all the courage of their kind they did it. Their tracks could
be traced next day on the field by the lines of dead whose heads were
not left upon their bodies, or were cloven "from the nave to the
chaps." The fight was unequal, but they did not seem to realise it, for
they fought their way back with a persistency that sent an undying
thrill through all the world. These heroes fought on, and would have
done so to the last drop had it not been for a timely charge of the
French Chasseurs d'Afrique upon the pressing hosts of the enemy. Thus
they were extricated--all that were left of them. "Then they rode
back"--some 170 in formation.

When they lined up in their original position and Lord Cardigan counted
them in a glance, he said "Men, it was a mad-brained trick, but it was
no fault of mine." Later, when the French General was asked his
opinion, he replied, "It was magnificent, but it was not war." Later
still, when Lord Cardigan came home, Queen Victoria asked him simply,
"Where is my army?" Yet, though critics may speak of "absolute
inutility," and calculating militarists of "sheer waste of life," it
still remains that the crowning glory of the Light Brigade, born that
day at Balaclava, has outlived all the survivors of that deathless
fray, and will still live on when the sword of the conquered has been
beaten once more into the ploughshare of peace. Ask any man of the 11th
Hussars fighting at the front to-day what he thinks about the Charge of
the Light Brigade, and, whatever he says, he will stand an inch higher
while saying it. And so it is with the nation. In these days, from the
Secretary for War to the latest recruit--even to the humblest
non-combatant grimly enduring--we are greater, stronger, more
whole-hearted for the memory of that glorious episode. It is far
reaching. It is immortal.

    "When can their glory fade?
    Oh! the wild charge they made!
      All the world wondered.
    Honour the charge they made,
    Honour the Light Brigade;
      Noble Six Hundred!"

Ten days had elapsed since their defeat at Balaclava when the Russians
planned an over-whelming attack on our besieging army. Their objective
was Mount Inkerman, their methods were secret, and their men 60,000.
The event shows that they hoped, by sending a strong force to the west
of Sevastopol and some 20,000 men to engage our army in the field, to
carry Inkerman, and so compel us to raise the siege.

Through the mists of the cold November morning the Russians, stirred to
the highest enthusiasm by the priests, advanced on Inkerman, and a
fight of the most desperate character ensued. Our Second Division, sore
pressed by overwhelming numbers, was suffering heavily, when,
notwithstanding the fog, the enemy's strategy became apparent, and the
Rifle Brigade were sent hurrying up from the field to their assistance.
The 50th followed, and the battle round Inkerman, now a trifle less
unequal, eddied and swirled and locked, turning now in favour of one
side and now the other. All sides belched flame and in turn were
bespattered with lead. Here a heap of Russian slain, and there, through
a rift of the mist, a fitful gleam of serried bayonets. The British
broke ranks and formed squares, and, in this formation, every square
found work of its own in repelling the fierce and sudden rushes of the
enemy. A couple of 18-pounders were brought up and long gaps were hewn
out of the deep ranks of the attacking host. Small groups found
antagonists by instinct in the mist and fought to a finish on their
own. Commanders became fighting-men, and every fighting-man his own
commander. It rested with each and all who had in common, not only the
fog, but a general purpose, to see that they kept their place between
anything Russian and the summit of Inkerman; and, in the process of
this, hand-to-hand combats as heroic as any in the Trojan War were
joined. "A series of dreadful deeds of daring," says Davenport Adams,
"of sanguinary hand-to-hand fights, of despairing rallies, of desperate
assaults in glens and valleys, in brush-wood and glades and remote
dales, from which the conquerors issued only to engage fresh foes, till
the old supremacy, so readily assailed, was again triumphant and the
battalions of the Czar gave way before our steady courage and the
chivalrous fire of France."


_Wyman & Sons Ltd., Printers, London and Reading._





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